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Wayne's World

March 27, 1994

I hope Rodney Grant is a better actor than he is a film historian. His comments regarding John Wayne and how he treated the Indians in the films he made in Durango, Mexico, are completely baseless (Film Clips, Feb. 27).

Grant says that the reason John Wayne made his films in Durango was apparently so that he could treat the Indians badly. Get the facts straight, pal. John Wayne made fewer than 10 pictures in Durango. Of those films, only four featured any character that was an Indian, and, with one exception, they were not shot by Wayne!

I submit the following:

* "Hondo" (1953): Wayne's character respected the Apaches and had an Indian wife. While he was forced to do battle with them, Vittoro, the Apache leader, respected him.

* "Chisum" (1970): When an Army officer speaks roughly to an Indian chief, who is a friend of Wayne's, he threatens the officer with bodily harm if he continues to mistreat the Indian chief.

* "Big Jake" (1971): When Wayne sets out to find his kidnaped grandson, he is accompanied by his old friend Sam Sharpnose, an Indian.

* "Cahill, U.S. Marshal" (1973): Wayne again relies on the help of a friend named Lightfoot, an Indian.

MICHAEL F. BLAKE

Studio City

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