Andrew Sarris

John Wayne's Strange Legacy
August 04, 1979

There was always more to the legend of John Wayne than met the eye. To judge by most of the obituaries, the unifying effect of his long war against cancer had transcended the divisive effect of his long war against communism. His illness was thus regarded as a metaphor for all the problems that plague Western man in his decent from power. With Wane's passing, we were told by solemn editorialists, the last simplistic American Hero had bitten the dust. This meant that there would be no more Vietnams on the American horizon.