Philippa Hawker reviews 'John Wayne' by Scott Eyman

Philippa Hawker reviews 'John Wayne' by Scott Eyman

John Wayne: The Life and Legend

by Scott Eyman

Simon & Schuster, $39.99 hb, 657 pp, 9781439199589

‘I’m Duke Morrison, and I never was and never will be a film personality like John Wayne. I know him well. I’m one of his closest students. I have to be. I make a living out of him.’ In Scott Eyman’s biography John Wayne: The Life and Legend, these words, uttered by ‘Duke Morrison, aka John Wayne’, serve as an epigraph. They are a curious mixture of the frank and the evasive, a combination of the certainty and doubt that characterise the man at the centre of this long, detailed study.

John Wayne occupies a special place in cinema history. His name is synonymous with the western and its place in American culture and mythology, and with a screen presence that spilled over into the political realm. He died in 1979, but he still heads a longstanding list of all-time box office stars, having been listed in the Top Ten on twenty-five occasions.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in April 2015, no. 370
Philippa Hawker

Philippa Hawker

Philippa Hawker is a writer on film and the arts for The Age and Fairfax Media. She is a former editor of the journal Cinema Papers.



Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.