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John Wayne: The Legend And The Man

A new book reveals the Duke as you've never seen him before.

Photography: Courtesy powerHouse Books/From John Wayne: The Legend and The Man by John Wayne Enterprises (powerHouse Books, 2012)

"There was a time when John Wayne and America seemed more or less synonymous,” writes director Martin Scorsese in his foreword to John Wayne: The Legend and the Man. Many of us were not aware this time had passed: In fact, as recently as 2010, Wayne finished third behind Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington in a Harris Poll of America’s favorite movie stars. 

Produced by John Wayne Enterprises and indie Brooklyn publisher powerHouse Books, the latest tome about The Duke offers a rare look inside the legend’s personal and professional photo archive, with hundreds of images — many never before seen — that document every facet of the actor’s life and career.

The Duke and daughter Aissa Wayne at home.

It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix: the early family photos; the silly, overly posed publicity shots arranged by the studio that no star was big enough to avoid; the heroic western stills that look like they should be hanging in a museum next to the Frederic Remingtons; and the candid shots, on set and at home, that show Wayne as a husband, father, athlete, and world traveler. Also included is a biographical essay by film historian Patricia Bosworth, as well as touching remembrances from frequent costar Maureen O’Hara, Ron Howard (who appeared with Wayne in The Shootist), and Ronald Reagan.

 

As with many screen legends from that era, there was an aura about John Wayne that both enhanced and transcended the roles he played (“Goddamn, I’m the stuff men are made of!” he’s quoted as saying). That indefinable quality radiates throughout this remarkable collection of photographs. ($45, to be released in December), www.powerhousebooks.com.

 

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