The Dichotomy of ‘The Duke’

Onscreen, John Wayne Embodied the American Man at His Best and Worst

John wayne

First, the backstory, which happens to be true.

In 1972, I was 21 years old, living in my native Ohio, and had come to the conclusion that if I wanted to write about the movies I probably should begin talking to people that actually made them.

I started at the top: I wrote a letter to John Wayne asking for an interview. Mary St. John, Wayne’s secretary of nearly 30 years, wrote back to inform me that should I come to California, she would see what she could do about arranging some …

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