John Wayne: the Life and Legend
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John Wayne: the Life and Legend

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Description

John Wayne died more than thirty years ago, but he remains one of the five favourite movie stars of contemporary audiences. Yet, there has never been a comprehensive biography worthy of the man as well as the star. Until now. The beloved Hollywood icon comes fully to life in this complex portrait by a master biographer. Exploring Wayne's early life with a difficult mother and a feckless father, Eyman makes startling connections to his later days as an anti-Communist conservative, his stormy marriages and his notorious-and surprisingly long-lived-extra-marital affair with Marlene Dietrich. In addition to his interviews with those who knew Wayne best-many of whom had never spoken on the record before-Eyman draws on the actor's own business records to weave a rich tapestry of American cultural history: the story of a man who went from college football to romantic lead on the silver screen, and who ultimately became the dominant-and often domineering-symbol of his country at mid-century, the quintessential American male against which all other screen heroes are compared.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 672 pages
  • 172 x 238 x 52mm | 919.99g
  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • rough front, b&w 24-pp insert of 57 photos
  • 1439199582
  • 9781439199589
  • 121,641

Review quote

"[An] authoritative and enormously engaging new biography... [Eyman] takes you through Wayne's life, his death and his legend in a detailed, remarkably knowledgeable yet extremely readable way." -- Peter Bogdanovich The New York Times Book Review "A spirited portrait of John Wayne and the Hollywood he worked in... Traces his transition from the eager, boyish roles he played in early movies to confident leading man." -- Michiko Kakutani The New York Times "We all think we know John Wayne, in part because he seemed to be playing himself in movie after movie. Yet as Eyman carefully lays out, 'John Wayne' was an invention, a persona created layer by layer by an ambitious young actor." -- Glenn Frankel The Washington Post "No Wayne biography until now has ridden the defile between the reverential and the tendentious with quite the graceful equilibrium of this one... Eyman gets at the details that the bean-counters and myth-spinners miss... Wayne's intimates have told Eyman things here that they've never told anyone else." -- David Kipen The Los Angeles Times "Deeply researched and totally absorbing." -- Clive Sinclair The Wall Street Journal "[An] exemplary biography... Eyman appears to have had broad access to Wayne's business and family life, and the result is a book with a compelling claim to being definitive." -- Robert Horton Film Comment "Full of historical detail and fan facts, John Wayne tracks shy Marion Robert Morrison's path to the screen hero who got scant credit for his own craft in creating the John Wayne that rallied audiences." -- David D'Arcy The San Francisco Chronicle "A fine show-biz biography, delivering what fans want about the star's career but probing with uncommon depth into his personality." Booklist "Scott Eyman has taken a legend and a statue and given us an odd, decent, muddled but deeply likeable man. That's what makes this book so readable and so touching." -- David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film and Moments That Made the Movies "One of the greatest movie star biographies ever written." -- Allen Barra Salon.com "In comprehensive detail, this new biography chronicles a great star at work... Like a cinematographer, Mr. Eyman offers readers Wayne from many angles, in his own words and the words of those who worked with him... An engrossing record of how the Duke stayed top dog for so long." The Economist "It would be hard to find a more complete picture of a public figure's life and legend than Eyman gives us of the Duke." -- Larry Thornberry The American Spectator "[A] splendid biography of Hollywood's most enduring movie star... Eyman offers perceptive views of Wayne's many films and a wagon's worth of revealing and entertaining anecdotes. If you think you know John Wayne, you'll know him even better as a movie star - and appreciate him even more as a person-after reading John Wayne: The Life and Legend." -- Douglass K. Daniel Associated Press "Eyman's exhaustively informative biography is, in essence, a tribute. One ends it liking Duke a lot more." -- John Sutherland The Times (London) "[Written] with deep research, clear, strong prose and unfailing good humor. The great strength of Mr. Eyman's book derives from the strength of its subject." -- John R. Coyne, Jr. The Washington Times "Eyman ... does an expert job in nailing Wayne's enduring appeal: On screen and off, he presented a man of action, confidence, self-determination and, sometimes, compassion." -- Chris Foran Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Eyman's take is ... eye-opening and astute, bolstered by access to the archives of Wayne's production company and a host of interview sources, and the fine way he utilizes oral histories and other research materials." -- Pat Broeske Bookpage "A comprehensive and compelling examination of The Duke... Insightful, exhaustive and engrossing-a definitive portrait of the man and the legend." Kirkus Reviews "Drawing deeply on interviews with family and friends, acclaimed biographer Eyman colorfully chronicles Wayne's life and work... Compulsively readable." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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About Scott Eyman

Scott Eyman has written acclaimed biographies of Mary Pickford and Ernst Lubitsch, as well as the film history THE SPEED OF SOUND: HOLLYWOOD AND THE TALKIE REVOLUTION.

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