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Zander, Horst (2016): "The Bravest and most Lonesome Cowboy of them all": John Wayne spielt John Wayne. In: Arbeiten Aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik (Aaa), Vol. 41, No. 1: pp. 57-68
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Abstract

John Wayne is undoubtedly one of the most prominent,actors of the Western as an essentially US-American filmic genre. The present essay traces the career of Wayne as a Western hero from his beginnings in the 1940s to his last film, The Shootist (1976). The focus on Wayne, at the same time, permits a sketch of the general history of the genre, from its 'heroic' early days to a crisis in the 1960s, the increasing tendency towards self-quotation and even self-parody as well as enhanced complexity in the subsequent years until The Shootist, which may be termed both a 'requiem' for the genre and for its most important actor. However, it is a requiem that is followed by a sort of 'afterlife' of the 'corpse' owing to some attempts at reviving the genre such as Dances with Wolves. Among the remarkable phenomena of the generic history, which are also highlighted in the essay, one that is of particular interest is the fact that illuminating parallels may be drawn between the fictional attitudes represented by Wayne the actor and the real-life positions held by Wayne the man.