Wednesday, February 20, 2008
John Wayne - the man - may have been a bit of a dick.
But John Wayne was more than a man. He was an actor, a movie star, an icon, a legend, a cowboy, a soldier, a sailor, a Marine and many other things.
He was also a bit of a philosopher, in his way.
I was watching "The Sands of Iwo Jima" today, and Wayne (as Sgt. Stryker) is pinned down with some of the other Marines on the beach at Tarawa. Bullets flying everywhere. Marines falling dead into the surf as they step out of the boats. Stryker is smoking a cigarette, and he looks like he's waiting in line at the ATM. The Marine next to him starts to freak out a little bit and says they should attack before they are killed where they sit. Stryker takes charge:
If you're nervous, count your toes. I'll do the masterminding around here.
Great line. I say it, and it sounds like I'm making fun of somebody. More like Jack Nicholson would say it. Wayne says it, and it's very reassuring.
He may have been a bit of a dick, but he was actually a pretty good actor. Whereas that Ronald Reagan fella was a mediocre hunk of beef whose worst movie was that really long one where he was president for eight years.
Who would you rather have a beer with?