John Wayne “Duke” & Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart – The youngsters today could never relate to this—kids today are so spoiled with the entertainment choices they have. They never had to deal with adjusting the tinfoil on the rabbit ears just to lessen the interference that was causing your family’s black and white television that created snow on your favorite program. Growing up, we only had 3 channels on the tube—no Netflix or amazon prime. AM radio ruled the airways, and you actually had to go to the movies. Once at the movies you were not dazzled by special effects—the men and woman, the actors that became the stories you learned to love memorized you. There was no gender confusion in the movies men were men and women were women. I loved the movies from back then—still do.
A friend of mine recently in a discussion about John Wayne said, “I love the Duke, but the man could not act worth a damn!”
I thought about that statement and hell John Wayne even admitted in an interview once he just portrayed John Wayne in every role. Could he act—Hell No. What he was is what every red-blooded American boy wanted to be. He was a man that stood for something and fought for it. He got to kiss the pretty girl; Hell, I loved John Duke Wayne. I cried the day he died.
When I was a kid, we went to movies not because we knew what the story was about. We went because the movie had Humphrey Bogart, or John Wayne in it. Think about that we went because of the actors were bigger than life, they were bigger than their stories. We wanted to be like them. Tough and capable men that overcame what life threw at them and more than likely had to kill a few bad guys in the process.
We didn’t want to see Shakespeare sonnet at the movies we went to see John Wayne play “The Duke” of Humphrey Bogart play “Bogie” and kick some butt and take names.
Actors today are part of the whinny and offended about everything generation. There are a few that could almost fill the shoes of The Duke or Bogie—almost. Those older actors had style, they knew how to carry themselves and how to approach adversary. No wishy prissy bullshit about them or the way they saw things. They were American men who “acted” like men. They were themselves. Could they act? Who cares? I certainly didn’t.
Guessing there is a reason for things—I suppose everything happens for a reason. Those older films live on and they are remade all the time.They had a set of standards and ideals that are timeless. Take a few hours and kick back and explore what I am talking about and watch Casablanca, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Maltese Falcon, The Searchers, and The Shootist. You will see some of the greatest roles ever portrayed on the big screen, they can be recreated, but never as good as what you are watching.
Kurt James © 2019
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