Friday, June 03, 2016

John Wayne, The Man Behind The Myth

I'm reading a book, John Wayne, The Man Behind The Myth by Michael Munn and I'm really enjoying it. Not sure why I didn't read it years ago but no matter, I'm glad I'm reading it now. I've never read a biography on John Wayne because I've never felt the need to. I know the man was part myth and there were truths behind him that his family, agents, and others didn't want us to know. Those truths never bothered me. I liked the man for who he was. I appreciated the man and the legend and never felt a need to read about it. Until the book was given to me and I thought "what the hell?" and decided to go for it.

Michael Munn now a British filmmaker but just starting out back in 1974 when he met Wayne, was fortunate enough to have the chance to meet the man, be accepted into his circle and his confidence. In fact, Wayne gave him his blessing to write about him. Munn did his homework too, interviewing hundreds of people who worked with Duke over the years including some of the people who worked closest to him.

I'm a third of the way into the book and I give it a thumbs up. It's straight forward, interesting and not at all a "tell all" or embellishment of Wayne's celebrity status. In fact, if anything, Munn portrays John Wayne as a real man, exposing the myths in a way that makes you love the Duke just a bit more.

I grew up on the Duke. My dad was a huge fan and so we watched his movies all throughout my childhood. Even my mom liked him. In fact, I knew very few who dislike him except maybe for his politics. Everyone has reasons for the beliefs they hold dear and when you start reading about Wayne's, you start understanding a bit more about why he thought the way he did.

There will be more to come on this, I can assure you.

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