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Ford Made His Future

May 04, 1997

It is misleading to suggest that Howard Hawks was the director who was most responsible for making John Wayne a star ("The Birth of the Duke," by Garry Wills, April 20). That distinction clearly and correctly goes to John Ford, who taught Wayne how to act in a motion picture while making "Stagecoach."

Ford was the one who forced, cajoled and encouraged the Duke to try new things as an actor, ideas and techniques that Wayne used for the rest of his career. And if it had not been for this improvement in Wayne's acting skills under the masterful tutelage of "Pappy" Ford, Wayne would not have been cast as anything other than a bit player in "Red River."


Newport Beach


Thanks much for noting the considerable cinematic accomplishments of Howard Hawks ("Esteem Soars for Hawks," by Kenneth Turan, April 20). His resume is among the most impressive of any filmmaker's and it's high time that people realized it.


Dana Point

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