Friday, March 23, 2007

Keeping up with the Duke

My wife Holly and I were watching John Wayne's "Angel And The Bad Man" last night, and it occurred to me that it might be Wayne's second best early movie, following "Stagecoach." We've turned into big fans of western movies, and I've collected several anthologies featuring Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy, and others.

I have several modern TV westerns, including "Conagher," "Last Stand At Saber River," "Crossfire Trail" and "Monte Walsh." Sam Elliott, who plays Conagher, and Tom Selleck, who stars in the three other movies, are two of my favorite western actors. Along with Robert Duvall, they're probably the best current western actors (although Duvall is getting old for that genre).

I have several Wayne westerns on DVD, including "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence," "The Searchers," "The Shootist," "Hondo," "The Sons of Katie Elder," "El Dorado," "Rio Lobo," "Rio Bravo," and "Rio Grande." Oh, I also have "Red River," "Tall in the Saddle" and "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon."

I also have some of Wayne's non-westerns like "The Quiet Man" (my favorite Wayne movie), "Hatari!", and "Donovan's Reef"; I watch each of those two or three times a year. And I occasionally drive my wife crazy by watching the not-so-great "The Hellfighters."

Oh, before I forget, on a non-John Wayne note, I also have a DVD of "Lonesome Dove", which stars Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. That may be the best western ever made; certainly, it's the best long western ever done. And I think Duvall's Augustus MacRae might be the most likeable character I've seen. In any form.

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