John Wayne’s Attempt To Break Out Of Westerns Nearly Killed His Career


John Wayne may be an iconic Western star, but his attempts to break that typecasting almost ruined his acting career in the 1930s.


John Wayne tried to break Western typecasting early in his career, and he almost broke it. If you look at Wayne’s filmography, you’ll see that he has made films in almost every genre, from period dramas to romantic comedies. However, he was forever associated with Westerns and felt uniquely suited to the genre.Wayne appeared in over 80 Westerns during his 50-year career, including 1976’s He also played the final lead role. Shootist -Also an auteur. Early in his career, he produced dozens of low-budget “poverty row” westerns, including “horror” westerns. haunted gold 1932.

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In the 1930s, he seemed poised for stardom, but his big break was elusive. He moved from his B-movie studio Republic to Universal in the late 1930s in an attempt to separate himself from both Westerns and the poor.according to Shooting Star: A Biography of John Wayne (via /movie), Wayne was promised by Universal producer Trem Carr that if he made the leap, Universal would pull him out of the westerns and into a variety of more contemporary projects. When Carr kept his Western promise, Wayne’s six-film run at Universal nearly ended his career, as they were all cheap too.

RELATED: The West’s John Carpenter Wrote for John Wayne (And Why It Didn’t Happen)


John Wayne’s non-Western movies were terrible

crowd idol john wayne

With Universal, Wayne – the final “role” Star Wars – Appeared in everything from ice hockey drama idol of the crowd – Places the actors have never acted in before filming – or like action movies Straight to California! Carr was looking to make a low-budget film with an up-and-coming star that would match the larger-budget fees from other studios. His plan did not pay off for Wayne as all the films were shot quickly and cheaply.None of them were a hit and did little to advance Wayne’s career. end of adventure It was the last film under his Universal contract.

How a stagecoach saved John Wayne’s career

stagecoach

Instead of helping his career, his move away from the genre left Wayne in a bad place. He claimed he “crawled” back to the Republic after his Universal days because he couldn’t find work elsewhere.He continued another series of his b-westerns like started. red river rangein front of his friend John Ford (played by David Lynch Fablemans) cast him as Ringo Kidd in the 1939s. stagecoachThe film is now considered one of the most important westerns of all time and built the careers of both Wayne and Ford. stagecoach It was also one of Wayne’s own favorite movies.

After struggling with the B project for over 10 years, stagecoach It finally gave Wayne the star-making role he wanted. Sands of Iwo Jima Also quiet manbut most of his biggest hits were within the genre. Searchers – Another Ford Collaboration – Rio Bravo (part of the Unofficial Trilogy) and true grit These are just a few of his greatest successes, the latter being Wayne’s only Academy Award winner. stagecoachbut who knows how his filmography would have evolved if his universal gamble paid off.

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