Monday, December 27, 2010

John Wayne Movies

I give credit to my Uncle Dave up in Minnesota for getting  me hooked on John Wayne movies and Louis L'Amour books. I remember going up to visit and seeing his awesome "western" room with a full cut-out of the Duke, movie shots on the wall, and his huge collection of movies.

It's been awhile since I've watched some John Wayne movies, but this weekend for Christmas I got my dad a book called 501 Movies You Must See and in that book I'll bet 50% of the westerns were starring Wayne. That reminded me of how much I'd enjoyed watching his movies in the past, so when I got home I looked up what was available on Netflix streaming of his. Here are my quick reviews on the three I've watched in the past 3 days.

  • Stagecoach - This is the only one that was in the 501 Movies book and it was a solid western, though being 71 years old, I think it loses a bit with the quality of the film and the sound. Where it does well, which is classic Ford (director), is the big sweeping shots of the stagecoach traveling through the country side. I'm not sure I'd qualify this one as a "must see", but it doesn't hurt to see it.
  • Trouble Along the Way - In this one Wayne plays a former college football coach who had been kicked out of coaching for rules violations. He is a single father fighting for the right to keep his daughter, so he takes a job at an old Catholic school to help them out. This is less about football and more about the daddy/daughter relationship. It was just ok. The ending is weird. It is my least favorite of the three I watched this weekend.
  • Flying Tigers - I'd seen parts of this one before, but finally watched it through. I liked it! Some good comedy, some good drama, and some good friendships on screen. Wayne, with his American way, is great and the supporting cast I think does a good job of showing the comradrie the Flying Tigers. I'd say this is closer to a "you should see" than a "must see", but if you like John Wayne - then see it.

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