Happy Birthday, Duke!
Today is the Centennial of John Wayne's birth. Happy Birthday, Duke!
The John Wayne's first big role was The Big Trail, made in 1930. But it wasn't until his role as the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach that he achieved stardom, and deservedly so. I can't compare the two pictures as I have never seen The Big Trail, however I have seen Stagecoach numerous times and it is one of my favorite movies.
Westerns made up the bulk of John Wayne's motion picture career, which is one reason when people think of the American West they instinctively envision the Duke sitting tall in the saddle. War movies, predominantly World War II films, were his second largest genre of pictures. In between them all were some romantic comedies, adventure films and a few cop films.
Perhaps his best works, where the Duke excelled, were the ones that I think of as character studies: Stagecoach, The Searchers, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, True Grit and The Shootist, which was the Duke's last film.