When it comes to the late movie legend John “Duke” Wayne, there are usually two camps. One loves his early movies (“Stagecoach,” “The Searchers,” “Red River,” “The Quiet Man” and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”); the other will swear that Duke came into his own later (“The Shootist,” “True Grit,” “The Cowboys” and “The Green Berets”). Out of the 250 films that he appeared in, it’s hard to pick just one favorite.
The debate over Duke’s best has been the #1 topic in Snyder over Labor Day weekend, when the John Wayne Film Fest took place for the past three years. But, like Wayne, the festival has grown in popularity and now is headed to bigger venues.
Leave it to big-thinking, movie-loving Anne and Steve Stodghill and David Hal Smith to take up the torch and elevate the festival to a whole new level.
After meeting with the Duke’s family, like sons Patrick and Ethan, and discussing plans for the festival to continue to support the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, the festival is moving to Dallas and a new date!
Over a Friday dinner at Stodghill manor with AFI types Tom West and Beth Reynolds and AFI National Council Founding Member Lynn and Allan McBee, the Stodghills revealed that the festival will take place Thursday, April 24, through Sunday, April 27, at the luxurious LOOK Cinemas.
What’s that? You’ve seen almost all of Wayne’s movies on TV. Oh, please. There is absolutely nothing like John Ford’s display of Monument Valley on a real movie screen. And home theaters don’t count.
And to add to the OMG factor, there will be Wayne family members and co-stars who will participate in Q&A’s.
Naturally with Anne, Steve and David chairing the event, there will be parties galore.
As soon as schedules and tickets are available, MSC will post the info. In the meantime, saddle up and make plans to celebrate a cinema royal.