John Wayne did establish himself as one of the greatest actors ever in Western films. But did you know that he invented a punch? The venerable actor did just that as he changed the narrative, so to speak. Before “The Duke” started duking it out with bad guys, the good guys usually were following the rules of fighting. Not with John Wayne.
John Wayne Always Packs A Punch For His Movie FansIn an interview, he once described how things changed with his mighty fists. “The hero could only knock the villain down politely and then wait until he rose,” Wayne says. “I changed all that. I threw chairs and lamps. (And) I fought hard, and I fought dirty. I fought to win.” He usually would come out on the winning end, too.
What about the punch? If you have seen him in The Searchers or Stagecoach, then you know he would fight to hold his ground. Wayne’s punches were in the form of a big arc or circle-like configuration. Doing so will send the puncher and the intended target off of their feet. They would look wobbly. John Wayne would make sure the moviegoers would see him in action. By doing this, they would get the full punching and fighting experience.
Martin Scorsese Remembers The First Time He Saw ‘The Searchers’Director Martin Scorsese, who has made a few good movies in his career, loves The Searchers. He once called seeing John Wayne in it “the greatest performance of a great American actor.” In an interview with the famed director, he recalled going to see the movie with some friends as a young man. Scorsese remembers seeing Ethan Edwards, Wayne’s character, for the first time.
“And, you sit there, and suddenly this character – this lonely character – comes out of the, out of the desert or something and he’s absolutely terrifying,” he says. “I mean he’s with all – well, he’s filled with – he just literally acts out the racism, the worst aspects of racism of our country, you know, and it’s right there. It’s right there. And you could see the hate. You could see it building. You could also understand how he could go that way. …”
When it comes to other actors loving this movie, put Sam Elliott in there, too. The venerable movie star and most recently cast member of 1883 was asked in an interview what were some of his favorite movies growing up. “Oh God, I’ve got a lot of them,” he said. “The Searchers was probably a favorite as I was growing up, along with Red River. And you know, I don’t just single out those two because John Wayne was in both of them.”