Apr 8, 2017

Wyatt Earp and John Wayne

Wyatt Earp was not satisfied sticking to one job for too long. During his life he was a lawman, buffalo hunter, brothel keeper, miner and boxing referee, among others. But he was best known for being an infinitely tough cowboy.
Earp took part in the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a 30-second gun battle that has inspired dozens of feature-length films. What you might not realize is that, unlike most people involved in that event, Earp lived long enough to see the earliest movies inspired by his exploits.

Toward the end of his life, Earp settled in California and tried to break into Hollywood. Perhaps noticing an alarming lack of westerns where his character was always surrounded by naked ladies, Earp decided he wanted to tell his story from his own perspective. Unfortunately, the closest he got was reportedly a background part in a single scene of an obscure 1915 film. However, Earp did get to befriend some Hollywood actors, including a 17-year-old nobody called Marion Morrison, whose stage name is John Wayne.

While hanging out on movie sets, casually choreographing historical gunfights for directors like John Ford, Earp would share stories from the Wild West with the actors. The future Wayne, then an extra and prop man, soaked them up. He also paid close attention to the way Earp talked and carried himself.

No comments:

Post a Comment