“The Alamo” and “The Sons of Katie Elder” are among the titles included in the HDNET Movies series.
To celebrate what would have been John Wayne’s 111th birthday this month — specifically, May 26 — HDNET Movies has joined forces with Ethan Wayne, The Duke’s son and president of John Wayne Enterprises, for “Western Icons with Ethan Wayne,” a May 18-27 series of movies featuring his father and other legendary actors of his generation.
Each evening, Ethan Wayne will host of a double bill of films on the HDNET Movies channel, and share a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes photos and select memorabilia from his collection at John Wayne Enterprises. “The western film genre and the core values of grit, honor and loyalty that my father embodied both on and off the screen are what he is still best remembered for today,” he says. “Both fans and anyone that wants to get immersed into the classic western films will enjoy this special feature. We gave HDNET viewers a glimpse into my father’s world that few have seen.”
The “Western Icons with Ethan Wayne” program will include:
Friday, May 18
Mackenna’s Gold – Veteran filmmaker J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone) directs an all-star cast that includes Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas, Julie Newmar, Eli Wallach, Burgess Meredeith, Lee J. Cobb and Edward G. Robinson. 7 pm ET
Paint Your Wagon — Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood lift their voices in song (no, seriously) in director Josh Logan’s movie version of the classic Broadway musical set against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush. 9:10 pm ET.
Buchanan Rides Alone — Randolph Scott and director Budd Boetticher successfully teamed for seven notable westerns. This is one of their best. 7 pm ET
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral — Burt Lancaster plays a stern Wyatt Earp opposite Kirk Douglas as a loose cannon Doc Holliday in this powerful retelling of the Tombstone legend, directed by John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven). 8:25 pm ET
High Noon — Gary Cooper received a richly deserved Academy Award for his performance as resolute lawman Will Kane in director Fred Zinnemann’s suspenseful western. 7 pm ET
Two Road Together — The great John Ford directed this 1961 drama starring James Stewart as a Texas marshal who’s drawn into a risky scheme to ransom captives from Comanches with a cavalry officer played by Richard Widmark. 8:30 pm ET
Billy Two Hats — Gregory Peck plays a notorious outlaw who relies heavily on his “half-breed” partner in crime, Billy Two Hats (Desi Arnaz Jr.), in a gritty 1974 western directed by Ted Kotcheff (First Blood) and written by Alan Sharp (The Hired Hand). 7 pm ET
Young Billy Young — Another western about a cross-generational collaboration, this one stars Robert Mitchum as a lawman on the trail of his son’s killer and Robert Walker Jr. as his reluctant ally. 8:45 pm ET
Buck and the Preacher — Sidney Poitier (who also directed) rides tall as a former solider devoted to leading wagon trains of former slaves westward during the post-Civil War era. And Harry Belafonte provides robust comic relief as a shady faux clergyman. 7 pm ET
The Undefeated — Elsewhere on the post-Civil War landscape, John Wayne is an ex-Union commander who helps a former Confederate officer (Rock Hudson) fight a common foe in Mexico. 8:45 pm ET
Buffalo Bill and the Indians — Director Robert Altman’s controversial revisionist western (based on the play Indians by Arthur Kopit) stars Paul Newman as the legendary Wild West Show impresario. 7 pm ET
Geronimo — Chuck Connors (yes, The Rifleman himself) has the title role in this fanciful biographical drama directed, co-produced and co-written by Arnold Laven (Sam Whiskey, Rough Night in Jericho). 9:05 pm ET
Guns of the Magnificent Seven — George Kennedy fills in for Yul Brynner as hired gun Chris Adams in the second sequel to John Sturges’ The Magnificent Seven. Co-stars include Joe Don Baker, James Whitmore and Monte Markham. 7 pm ET
The Magnificent Seven Ride! — Lee Van Cleef steps into the Chris Adams role for the third and final sequel to The Magnificent Seven. Co-stars include Michael Callan, Luke Askew, Ed Lauter and Stefanie Powers (McLintock!). 9:05 pm ET
From Noon Till Three — Charles Bronson indulges in amusing self-parody for writer-director Frank D. Gilroy’s cult-fave western comedy about an outlaw’s fateful dalliance with an attractive widow (Jill Ireland). 7 pm ET
The Gunfight at Dodge City — Joel McCrea is Bat Masterson, who assumes the job of sheriff after his brother is killed and takes on a band of scurvy outlaws, in a western directed by Joseph M. Newman (The Outcasts of Poker Flat, This Island Earth). 8:45 pm ET
The Alamo — John Wayne directed and stars (as Davy Crockett) in this epic historical drama, sharing the screen with such luminaries as Richard Widmark (as Jim Bowie), Laurence Harvey (William B. Travis) and Richard Boone (Sam Houston). 7 pm ET
The Sons of Katie Elder — Four formidable siblings — played by John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman and Michael Anderson Jr. — reunite on the vengeance trail for veteran director Henry Hathaway (True Grit, 5 Card Stud). 9:45 pm ET
Will Penny — Charlton Heston always ranked this film, in which he portrays an aging cowhand beset by a family of outlaws, as one of his best. And with good reason. 7 pm ET
The Unforgiven — Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, director John Huston’s drama about racial tensions in the Texas frontier stars Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Lillian Gish, Audie Murphy and Doug McClure. 8:50 pm ET
“Western Icons with Ethan Wayne” will conclude with a Memorial Day marathon of repeat airings, starting with Young Billy Young at 3 am ET May 28 and ending with Paint Your Wagon at 3:35 am May 29.