August 31, 2011Our latest issue features John Wayne on the cover standing over a downed alien craft with the question, "Cowboys & Aliens: Would the Duke Approve?"
The movie has failed to perform and sits at a little over $199 mil, with a reported budget of $160 mil. So it's not what they envisioned.
In my editorial, I talked about how I hated Gene and Roy jumping on cars and chasing Nazis. My friend Hugh agrees:
"I really enjoyed your comment about westerns and cars. John Wayne jumping in an airplane, Roy racing beside Nellie Belle and his faithful sidekick Pat Brady and Gene driving a car chasing Nazis drove me crazy as a young boy of 6 or 7. I actually may have been permanently scarred."
—Hugh Howard, True West Maniac #9
Meanwhile, got a letter from T. Peterson who says:
"The answer to the subject query can be nothing short of a resounding 'Absolutely!'
"John Wayne's westerns were and still are entertaining, but they missed being authentic by the proverbial country mile. The single example I offer here should suffice, but a somewhat serious movie fan or history buff could cite an array of others without so much as furrowing his or her brow.
"The firearms used in most of the John Wayne westerns had to be transported back in time for years, sometimes decades, simply because they had not yet been invented and were therefore not available during the period those films were meant to depict. The necessity of transporting firearms back in time most certainly applies to the Duke's basic, standard outfit: an 1873 Colt's civilian model revolver (with aged-to-yellow-approaching-orange simulated 'ivory' grips) and an 1892 patent Winchester carbine sporting the iconic Wayne-trademark finger lever with an oversize loop.
"Like it or not, because of the not-yet-invented firearms featured in them, most of the Dukes westerns were sci-fi.
"That's my story and I'm stickin' to it."
—T. Peterson, True West Maniac #894
And finally, in my editorial I quoted Buckeye Blake as saying, "Personally, I think it's bizarre, but it's a hoot, and I think John Wayne as an artist would embrace it."
Well, that was evidently before Buckeye saw the flick, because I got this cryptic email this morning:
"I take back everything I said about John Wayne liking Cowboys & Aliens! The DUKE would have Barb-wired and Butt-skinned every sorry son of a bitch who had anything to do with that movie!"—Buckeye Blake