The 10 Best John Wayne Westerns from My Childhood…

John Wayne in The Searchers

…and slightly beyond.Like a lot of people who grew up in the 50s and 60s – mostly boys I have to admit – John Wayne was the ultimate hero and John Wayne Westerns were the best movie experience. He kicked arse like no one else onscreen. You could say he was an equal opportunities arse … Read more

I Thought Cong Was in Connemara – The Quiet Man Location

The Quiet Man Poster

Back in the early 90s I was reading a book by the now-deceased British film director Lindsay Anderson (he directed If, O Lucky Man and Britannia Hospital among others) when I came across the mention of a meeting Anderson had with John Ford in Dublin, in 1951, while Ford was in Ireland shooting location footage … Read more

Remembering Harry “Dobe” Carey Jr.

Harrey Carey Jr. with John Wayne

I first made contact with Harry Carey Jr., or ‘Dobe’; as he came to be known, back in 1998. I’d met up with the film director Andrew McLaglen at Pinewood studios to discuss a script I’d written about the making of The Quiet Man on which he had worked as an unaccredited assistant director in … Read more

A Must For All Lovers of Film But Why “The Searchers”?

Monument Valley with lone rider

In the preface to a book dedicated solely to a collection of essays on The Searchers (The Searchers: Essays and Reflections on John Ford’s Classic Western, edited by Eckstein and Lehman) one of the editor’s mentions a video installation set up in the desert a few miles to the east of Los Angeles back in … Read more

The Day I Met Ray Harryhausen

One Million Years BC poster

They say you should never meet your heros as they’re bound to let you down or disappoint in one way or another. I’ve been very lucky to have met both my musical hero, Brian Wilson, and also my film hero, Ray Harryhausen, and neither one disappointed me. The meeting with Brian Wilson was kind of … Read more

“Stagecoach” – The First John Wayne / John Ford Film?

John Wayne on set with John Ford

Early John Wayne Films Directed by John Ford There is a suggestion in a number of Wayne filmographies that his first appearance in a John Ford film was as an extra in the silent Mother Machree, released in 1928. The film, however, was actually shot in 1926 but held back for release until 1928 whilst … Read more

Remember These 1960s Movie Double Bills

Pirates of Blood River and Mysterious Island double bill poster

This is a short celebration of some of those great movie double bills that I remember from the 1960s. Prior to the advent of video / DVD, the only way you could watch one of your favourite movies again after their original release was to hopefully catch it on re-release at the local flea pit. … Read more