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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, well written, unbiased view of a legend
First off, the rough cut pages people, is a style, not a quality control issue, so marking the book down because of that is pure ignorance.

Telling a tale of a life is always hard, that is why autobiographies don't always work, it is hard to be self objective or critical. So they become anecdotal.

Biographies can also fall flat by being either too...
Published 1 month ago by D. Stanford

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Condition not what I expected...
Disappointed with condition, page edges untrimmed giving a ragged appearance, bought as a present but looks sub-standard. I sell books on Amazon myself and would have felt obliged to mention this condition, wrote to Book Depository on the 8th May but no response, also disappointing. G. M. Scholes....
Published 1 month ago by gordon milton scholes


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, well written, unbiased view of a legend, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: John Wayne: The Life and Legend (Kindle Edition)
First off, the rough cut pages people, is a style, not a quality control issue, so marking the book down because of that is pure ignorance.

Telling a tale of a life is always hard, that is why autobiographies don't always work, it is hard to be self objective or critical. So they become anecdotal.

Biographies can also fall flat by being either too critical, or too gushing.

Here, Scott Eyman has achieved a wonderful balance sorting fact from fiction, present Wayne as a thoroughly decent human being with lots of faults.

If you are interested in the western, the period Wayne worked in, and movies generally you will enjoy this immensely well written work.

There wasn't a part of this book I didn't enjoy, it really goes into Wayne the man, with all his good points, bad points, and foibles. You even get a different perspective of his political views and why he held them. Eyman does not judge, he lets Wayne tell you himself.

It is a terrific book, very, very readable, full of enough new facts and anecdotes to leave feeling that, yes, I would love to have known Wayne.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Boy Called Marion, 12 April 2014
By 
Dr Barry Clayton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: John Wayne: The Life and Legend (Kindle Edition)
For me some of the finest films have been westerns, particularly classics like 'Butch Cassidy', 'Magnificent Seven' and 'The Searchers' starring John Wayne in his finest role, a performance that should have won him an Oscar.

Numerous books have been written about Wayne, born Marion Michael Morrison, a name he quickly changed once in Hollywood in the 1930's making scores of western with names like 'Pals of the Saddle'. As Eyman says in this latest account it was Ford's 'Stagecoach' that paved the way for his subsequent success in films like 'Red River' and the 'Alamo'. He fails to tell us that Wayne financed the latter with $150,0000 of his own money. By 1969 he had earned over $400,000,000 for his studios. Despite this record sum he was a prophet (profit) without honour in Hollywood. This was mainly to do with his ultra conservative politics and uncompromising awareness. Later he earned the intense hatred of many actors for his support of Senator McCarthy in the 1950's and that politician's witch hunt against communists. He allowed himself, with many other actors who tried later to deny their involvement, to become a figurehead of red-baiters. In 1970 all was forgiven and at last he got the Oscar he deserved (although for the wrong film)for 'True Grit' a film that many regard as a self-parody.

Wayne was a fund raiser for many leading republicans including Nixon, Goldwater and Reagan. He was encouraged to serve as vice presidential running mate to Wallace in the 1968 campaign but refused. He was known as a strong supporter of the Vietnam war; his production of 'The Green Berets' glorified the war.

He married three times. He lived with his third wife, Peruvian born Pilar Palette and three of his seven children in a vast 11 room, 7 bath home on the Gold Coast of Newport Beach, California, a gorgeous place. He also owned lucrative mineral rights in the Congo. Among his possessions was a converted US Mine Sweeper that saw service in the war. Late in life he was diagnosed with lung cancer. For someone who smoked on average 60 cigarettes a day this was hardly surprising. He continued to smoke after the operation.

In his 6o's he said he loathed most of the films being made particularly sex films which he described as garbage. He also derided ratings, and said he was not surprised families were staying home to watch tv.

At 6 foot four and 244 pounds he cut an imposing figure on screen despite his toupee. For years he was a phusical giant among the likes of Alan Ladd, Bogart and Cagney. In 1995, 16 years after his death, he still ranked in polls ahead of Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks. He was as this book reminds us a screen legend. Even more, he was a cultural phenomenon. His image stands as a reminder of America's frontier past. For many the Duke remains emblematic of strong, silent manhood, of courage and honour in a world of timidity and moral indifference. Fortunately, his screen persona has grown to cover his private identity for His real self was not too admirable, wife beating and drunkenness were all too frequent as was his regular philandering. On the other hand he was known for his generosity when friends were in trouble.

Given his film appearances he surprisingly had no love of horses and never rode for pleasure. His favourite pastime was chess, which he played at a high level. Eyman says he could have become a very successful lawyer. Certainly he was a good scholar as well as being a top athlete. Another unusual thing about Duke was his ability to quote Milton by the page.

The majority of his co stars speak favourably of him. Maureen O'Hara said he was a very fine actor and a 'Good friend'. When asked why he never married the gorgeous red head he said:'It would have been like marrying my sister'. She was at his bedside a few days before he died.

He was fond of saying that on screen all he did was 'play himself'. Like Mitchum he avoided service in the armed forces and inevitably became known as a draft dodger.

Wayne was never a sex symbol, indeed many feminists rage at what he symbolises. For many he nurtures the inner child that even mature adults harbour. His persona can be seen as a monument to sexism or as something many males would love to be. The myth serves a purpose. It helps to stabilise society, illuminate existence and add zest to our lives.

Another interesting book about an icon, a symbol of the Old West. The Duke despite his weaknesses comes over as a rather 'nice guy'. He starred in over 150 films many of them directed by the most gifted directors around-Ford and the great two H's,Hawkes and Hathaway.

Although he may still irritate the cultural elite in America his popularity remains undimmed. He was more than an actor. He was in many ways America.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 10 Jun 2014
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I have many books on John Wayne but this by far the best.It is very readable and captures what it was about him that makes him still a huge name 35years after his death.It is not a hagiography but a warts and all tale that is a fine read and I have to say it brought tears to my eyes at the end.It is a brilliant book and for fans o f the Duke I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 Jun 2014
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terrific bio
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm still reading it, but there;s one critism., 25 Jun 2014
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Great book, however, the copy I received hadn't had the paper edging shaved (side edge). I would recommend this book. Thanks for advertizing it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The amazing transformation of Marion Mitchell Morrison who became John Wayne, 22 Jun 2014
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
If there is a more comprehensive and more reliable biography of the man who became John Wayne (1907-1979), I am not aware of it. Hundreds of others have already reviewed this book and most of them share my high regard for Scott Eyman's achievement. No one can deny that John Wayne was among the most popular actors in all the film history. On and off screen, he always seemed "larger than life" to me. Apparently, he had the same impact on those with whom he as associated. This is a massive biography. Whether or not it is the "definitive biography" is a matter to be addressed by others far better qualified than I. Suffice now for me to say that I enjoyed reading this book almost as much as I enjoy watching, again, my personal favorites among the 140 films in which he appeared.

I am very grateful to Eyman for what I learned about subjects such as these:

o Why John Wayne was loved and respected by almost everyone who knew him.
o Why he endured John Ford's constant abuse while making films together
o The films of which Wayne was most proud...and why
o The best and the worst of his three marital relationships: to Josephine ("Josie") Saenz, Esperanza ("Chata") Baur, and Pilar Pallete
o Why all three marriages ended in divorce and what Wyayne made of that
o His defining political and social views and values
o The difficulties that he encountered when attempting to finance and then complete his film about the Alamo
o Why he hated High Noon
o His closest personal friendships throughout his life and what they reveal about him as a person
o His attitude toward the Academy Awards
o What he most enjoyed about film making...and why
o What he least enjoyed...and why
o What he thought of himself as a husband and as a father...and why
o What he thought of himself as an actor...and why
o The most significant details of his losing battle with stomach cancer, especially during the last few days
o What Eyman thinks John Wayne's life and career reveal about cultural values in the United States during the 1940s through the 1980s

With regard to my personal favorites among John Wayne's films, they include these, listed in the order in which they were released:

Stagecoach (1939)
They Were Expendable (1945)
Fort Apache (1948)
The Searchers (1956)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
True Grit (1969)

There are dozens of memorable moments in dozens of his other films but I have selected these because of what I view as the sustained quality of his acting within the given role as opposed to being himself in a fictional context. One man's opinions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, 15 Jun 2014
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This review is from: John Wayne: The Life and Legend (Kindle Edition)
Great read amazing detail about a film legend looks in real depth about the man who went on to become an icon
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Biography, 4 Jun 2014
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This is the most insightful and complete biography that has been written about John Wayne. It weaves together the influences and experiences that shaped this talented, intelligent and hugely charismatic human being and includes previously unpublished background information on his interaction with other actors and directors on the major Wayne films. It will be appreciated by movie historians and Wayne fans alike.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Duke, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: John Wayne: The Life and Legend (Kindle Edition)
A great insight into both the man and the legion and also the America Dream
plus film making for this period a great history
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 May 2014
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Great book on a great actor at a sensible price.
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