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08 January 2019

Marion or The Duke: It's all John Wayne

John Wayne about to hitch a ride to fame as The Ringo Kid in "Stagecoach" (1939).

So what's your favorite Marion Robert Morrison movie?

We're talking the late, great "everyman" movie star John Wayne, of course.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance starring The Duke, Jimmy Stewart, Vera Miles and Lee Marvin as the title character is my favorite, Pilgrim.   That heartfelt-yet-hard hitting Western of love, unrequited and otherwise, giant pan-fried steaks and Marvin as quite possibly one of the Top 5 big screen baddies of all time, only edges out True Grit by an eyepatch or two.

Wayne, born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa in 1907 and weighing in at a whopping 13 pounds,  starred in 142 movies in a career that spanned six decades.  Eighty-three of those were Westerns, where he lumbered around like Wyatt Earp, sat tall in the saddle (at 6-foot-4) and wasn't against preaching his political slant in his movies (see The Alamo and The Green Berets).

The Duke:  John Wayne -- Actor, Icon kicks off 2019 as the latest addition to my list of Movie Memories with Larry Ratliff presentations.  It was a big hit when I performed it for the first time at Highland Springs Retirement Community in Dallas on Jan. 6.

I would like to thank Barbara Blachly, Highland Springs' community resources coordinator, for suggesting a John Wayne Movie Memories presentation.  I had an eye-opening time putting it together (Six packs of cigarettes a day, really Duke?) and even more fun presenting it to the always welcoming Highland Springs folks.

Give us a call at 972-596-9157 to book your group's The Duke:  John Wayne -- Actor, Icon presentation.  You'll hear some things about the larger-than-life screen legend you may not have known, and you'll see The Duke at his best in true classics, like his Oscar-winning performance in True Grit.


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