The enduring legacy of actor John Wayne, America’s ultimate cowboy, will be celebrated this month, fittingly enough, by the Cowboy Channel in association with the John Wayne: An American Experience museum in Fort Worth, Texas.
The “Duketober” celebration is a month-long airing of classic John Wayne movies via broadcast and streaming. It will culminate with a 50th anniversary live panel discussion on Nov. 3 in remembrance of Big Jake, the 1971 movie that bought Wayne together with sons Ethan and Patrick, who will participate in a discussion about his films and career.
Wayne’s legacy has taken a few hits in the last couple of years. A 50-year-old Playboy magazine interview outlining some of his controversial views on race surfaced, sparking his USC alma mater to remove an exhibit on him. There’s also a movement to remove his name from the Orange County airport. So far, that action has failed to gain ground.
But Wayne’s cinematic legacy, particularly his western movies, continue to rank among the finest ever produced by Hollywood. Such films as The Searchers, True Grit, Stagecoach and Rio Bravo are considered classics of the genre.
“The John Wayne: An American Experience (JWAAE) museum in the Fort Worth Stockyards has created a perfect synergy for the Cowboy Channel to highlight this incredible western film legend and showcase many of his classic films for our audience,” said Cowboy Channel CEO Raquel Koehler Gottsch.
“Our fans absolutely adore John Wayne, and we couldn’t be happier to have a great relationship with his family and be able to share his movies with our audience and dedicate an entire month to such a western star legend.”
“He would be thrilled to learn that so many people still cherish his films after all these years and I know he’s smiling somewhere,” said son Ethan Wayne.
The Cowboy Channel will also feature a Halloween movie marathon of Wayne films, and fans can tune-in to such classics such as Rio Grande, Sand of Iwo Jima, and The Shootist.