Actor John Wayne had strong opinions regarding films, regardless of whether he starred in them or not. He was against the idea of a movie rating system, especially ones that earned ratings meant for mature audiences. Wayne once said that all actors starring in R- or X-rated films should have to show them to their daughter.
Wayne lived by a strict set of values and morals. His sense of masculinity often informed his stances on many issues. His name often aligned with patriotism for the United States, especially when it came to conservative politics. Any moviegoer paying to see a movie starring Wayne knew exactly what to expect. He refused to to betray the image that he built.
The movie star declined many legendary roles in movies such as High Noon and Blazzing Saddles because he thought they were “un-American” or “dirty.” Creatives hoping to cast Wayne in their films had to ensure that they wrote around how he liked his characters to read on the script and on the screen.
Wayne was outspoken about Hollywood films that appealed to the R- or X-ratings. He thought they were only doing it for the paycheck, depending on moviegoers’ morbid curiosity to see extreme violence, sexuality, and drug use on the silver screen.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Wayne thought that if actors were willing to star in R- or X-rated films, they should have to sit in it. He acknowledged that he made some terrible movies in his time, but that he never sunk to the level of adult flicks.
“I read someplace that I used to make B-pictures,” Wayne said. “Hell, they were a lot farther down the alphabet than that … but not as far down as R and X. I think any man who makes an X-rated picture ought to be made to take his own daughter to see it.”
Why was he so against violent or overly-sexualized movies? Well, Wayne didn’t believe in films meant entirely for older audiences. He thought family members of all ages should be able to attend the theater together and watch the same movie without any level of awkwardness or embarrassment.
Wayne talked more about sexuality in films in his infamous 1971 Playboy interview. He considered “hairy, sweaty bodies in the foreground” to be distasteful. He thought female sexuality was “healthy,” but thought that it was a fine line. Wayne was afraid that too much graphic sexuality or violence would potentially ruin the business “from its own vulgarity.”
The movie star regularly interacted with fans of all ages, as many fathers and sons bonded over his Western and war flicks that fill much of his filmography. Wayne prided himself in making feature films that entire families could enjoy together, rather than taking roles that he considered to be too much.
PROC. BY MOVIES