I’m Uncool Enough…

…that I think the world could do with a John Wayne revival.  Not that I think the man flawless, nor that I think his screen persona was always the healthiest model of masculinity (compare it with Jesus and you see the problems start to emerge).  But I like the sort of basic rough American virtues he seems to have believed and lived.  Plus, any American Stalin hated so much he wanted to assassinate has something going for him.  Wayne’s straightforward honesty led, in the end, to a common sense embrace of the Catholic faith, much as the same virtues did with Gary Cooper (another guy whose basic decency, in response to God’s grace, led him to the realization that old-fashioned American virtue could not save him).  I remember reading Wayne’s wonderful translation of St. Thomas into his own straightforward patois: “There has to be a God or how does all this stuff work?”  Sound, solid common sense.

God rest his soul and God be praised for all the happiness his gifts gave to filmgoers, particularly of my father’s generation.  It’ll be interesting to see if there is a revival of Wayne films–or Cooper films for that matter.

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  • I quite agree that we could do far worse than have a revival of interest in the films of John Wayne or Gary Cooper–but finding out that these two screen icons eventually became Catholic is an added bonus, like finding out that chocolate is actually good for you.

  • Peggy R

    Sure. One of the cable channels has lots of John Wayne and other westerns on Saturdays. TCM? Not sure which.

  • Clare Krishan

    Gary Cooper’s liaison with Patricia Neal ended with her aborting their baby. Nostalgia isn’t always as pure as we’d like to sentimentalize it as. (Tho’ Ms Neal’s reconciliation with her unborn’s older sister would make great television IMHO)

    Mercy is balm for the sin-sick soul, not icing on the cake of plaster-cast heroes.

    • Dave G.

      I doubt most people think it is. If I reserved my admiration for folks without any failings in their past, or present for that matter, I would have little in the way to admire.