Saturday, September 27, 2008

John Wayne: Actor, Star, Icon, Trojan

This weekend USC is celebrating the centennial of John Wayne's birth with a celebration titled "Actor, Star, Icon, Trojan."

The agenda includes screenings of Wayne's movies, panel discussions, and the opening of an exhibit on Wayne in the Doheny Library.

This afternoon we attended a screening of THE QUIET MAN in USC's Norris Theatre, followed by a panel discussion moderated by USC film professor Dr. Rick Jewell.

Jewell recently wrote the article John Wayne, An American Icon. He teaches a course on Westerns, which our daughter is currently attending. Fans of DVD extras will recognize his name from his many documentary and commentary appearances regarding classic movies, including the new edition of Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS coming out October 14th.

The other panelists were Stephen Aron of UCLA, Sharon Carnicke of USC, and USC Cinema School's Dr. Drew Casper. Each of the professors gave a presentation on a different topic related to Wayne, including Wayne and the evolution of the Western, Wayne as an actor, and the reasons behind Wayne's success in postwar America.

It was wonderful seeing THE QUIET MAN on the big screen again for the first time in many years and sharing that experience with our children. I'll be writing more on THE QUIET MAN in another post.

Tomorrow we'll be attending a panel discussion moderated by Leonard Maltin, followed by a screening of a 3-D print of HONDO.

More about the weekend-long tribute, including interviews with Rick Jewell and Leonard Maltin, can be found in this article from the L.A. Times.

Sunday Update: John Wayne Weekend, Part 2 and HONDO.


Blogger mel said...

Why would they be celebrating now when he was born on 26 May 1907? Aren't they a little late?

10:01 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I haven't heard an explanation at this point, Mel, but perhaps that was shared with an audience earlier in the weekend. I don't think the Duke's fans who have been able to enjoy the weekend are quibbling with the delayed celebration (grin).

BATJAC President Gretchen Wayne helped fund the weekend's events, incidentally, and she'll be present at tomorrow's panel discussion.

Best wishes,

10:43 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

OK- now I am officially very jealous. Hondo screening in 3-D WITH Leonard Maltin! Living in CA does have some perks.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

J.C., I thought of you while we were there...especially when I asked about the "I'm No Fool" cartoons. :)

You would have loved it! I hope you get to enjoy similar experiences in the future.

Best wishes,

12:40 AM  

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