I love action movies and westerns. These days, however, action stars have personal trainers (nothing wrong with that), nutritionists, chefs, yoga instructors, acting coaches, stylists, etc. Ugh!
Once upon time, the greatest action star in the world had a bit of a gut, a face chiseled with lines and almost always played himself…and pulled it off! I’m talking about John Wayne.
I showed my wife a few John Wayne movies a few weeks ago (The Quiet Man, McClintock, Big Jake and Rio Bravo). She was enthralled. She admitted Wayne wasn’t really good looking and certainly not “cut” like the action stars of today but she blurted out, “But…he’s just…a MAN!”
I couldn’t even bring myself to be jealous because, she’s right. John Wayne’s movie characters were the epitome of the American man: confident but not arrogant, tough but willing to take up for the little guy, knew how to take care of himself, didn’t care for unnecessary luxuries, etc.
Unfortunately, contemporary males think men are either well-dressed, well-groomed, and slightly effeminate or loud, violent frat guy jerks or those cut like Jason Statham (no knock on him).
If you want to see what I believe a true American male should look like, you should check out the following John Wayne movies. Just in case you think I’m being “unChristian” (as some do when I call on men to be men) be sure to pick up a copy of the book “Why Men Hate Going to Church” by David Murrow.
10. McCintock (1963)
9. The Quiet Man (1952)
8. The Alamo (1960)
7. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949)
6. Hondo (1953)
5. Rio Bravo (1959)
4. The Cowboys (1972)
3. True Grit (1969)
2. The Searchers (1956)
1. Big Jake (1971)
That’s just where you should start. Anything Wayne did after (and including) Stagecoach in 1939 is worth your time.