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Reviews about Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, and Ward Bond by Scott Allen Nollen and published by McFarland Books. First biography of Ward Bond. Excellent representation of the lives of the three men who were constantly intertwined both on set and off. Best friends all. This is one book not to be missed.

Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond FIRST QUARTERLY REPORT

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Well, our long awaited day of the first report of sales of Three Bad Men has finally arrived.  Scott got the news from his publisher.  Out of the now 18 books Scott has written for McFarland Publishers, this first quarter, Three Bad Men has sold over twice the amount than any other one has.  He is very pleased, and now realizes the importance of promotion!  Scott mainly cares about the research and writing of his books.  After that is done, so is he.  But, it is nice to see the money keep rolling in and that it should for his other books also.  Here is a list of his books from McFarland.  I have two of them and they are excellent, in my opinion.Image

The Black Diamond, (about Theron Denson, a Neil Diamond Tribute Singer), was started the same day of the completion of Three Bad Men, and It is now published and out to the public. This is a link to the Facebook page about the book.  https://www.facebook.com/BlackDiamondTheRealIllusion
Here is an intro from Fox 8 News and then an excerpt from Theron singing “I Am I Said” on Youtube.  Many more are on there, so check him out.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWw8uDttFkE
Here is a picture of Scott and Theron, not long after Scott’s 50th birthday and right after he finished TBM.  Theron went to his house and stayed there for 3 days telling his life story,  and having pictures made.  This shows the two together with some of Scott’s other books.  Picture of Scott and Black Diamond

As for Scott, his progressive illness is still taking its toll……hopefully it will stop very soon as the site of it is in his lower spine.  He is now in a wheelchair, but that hasn’t slowed him down.  He and his family moved out to Iowa, about an hour’s drive from Winterset, Duke Wayne’s birthplace.  They are just about settled in now.  And Scott…..no writing for him.  He SAYS he is retired…….we will see.  Now, he is involved in music, (four of his books divulged deeply into the music of Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and The Jethro Tull Band…….he KNOWS his music.  We will see if he sends us anything of what he is doing.  He is a genius author…….wonder if that extends to composing, etc.

The Black Diamond has a big concert coming up in Nashville…….only a few hours from me.  Just think I might pop on over three with some friends.  I LOVE Neil Diamond and will never see him in public.  I think Theron will do nicely.  CYA, KEITH

Those Wagon Train fans, “keep your eyes open” as Major Adams would say to Flint McCullough………I have a piece coming out on one of the best episodes of the first four seasons.  LOTS of great screen views and some of the best acting of Ward Bond, Terry Wilson, and Frank McGrath!

 

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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL

 

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL

 

Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond Review by Jeff Arnold

New review out for Three Bad Men by Scott Nollen.

 

Check out Jeff’s blog and sign up for it.

 

http://jeffarnoldblog.blogspot.fr/

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL

 

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Monday, May 27…

BOOK REVIEW FROM  Sean Gill  http://juntajuleil.blogspot.com/2013/05/book-review-three-bad-men-john-ford.html

Monday, May 27, 2013
Book Review: THREE BAD MEN: JOHN FORD, JOHN WAYNE, WARD BOND (2013, Scott Allen Nollen)

I’m a longtime fan of John Ford (who isn’t, really?), the patron-saint of Monument Valley, born-again Irishman, and director of some of the best-constructed, most thoughtful films to come out of Hollywood, from THE INFORMER to THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE to THE QUIET MAN to THE GRAPES OF WRATH.
John Wayne is, so to speak, John Wayne, though his work frequently transcends the “movie star” mold with a dancer’s grace and a touch of madness like in Ford’s THE SEARCHERS, Hawks’ RED RIVER, and Siegel’s THE SHOOTIST.
Then, there’s Ward Bond: a character actor extraordinaire who played brutes and cowpokes and priests and boxers across more than two hundred films. Though his supporting work with Ford and Wayne is why he’s included in this trio, my soft spot for him will always be his one and only shot at top-billing in 1942’s HITLER: DEAD OR ALIVE, a film that clearly inspired INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS and contains the fabulous spectacle of Ward slapping the shit out of Hitler himself …before proceeding to force-shave off his mustache!

Anyway, I just finished reading Scott Allen Nollen’s in-depth examination of the lives and work of these three cinematic giants, and I highly recommend it as a fascinating study for burgeoning old-Hollywood aficionados and serious fans of cinema alike. Chronologically tracing the intertwining lives of these three “good-bad men” who were not unlike the characters in their films (Ford directed Bond and Wayne in nearly thirty pictures each), Nollen is at once objective and affectionate in his analysis, and there’s a wealth of source material including documents, letters, telegrams, and plenty of rare photographs. There are riveting anecdotes (I may now actually be inspired to read Harry Carey, Jr.’s autobiography), some great yarn-spinning (including tales of Ward Bond’s brutish, high-flying, indecent-exposing, Wile E. Coyote-style antics and his ruining of a key scene in THE SEARCHERS when he unplugged the camera to plug in his electric razor!), and the work definitely touches on their peccadillos and absurdities, though never salaciously.

It’s deftly written and never dry; while many books of this kind become bogged down by academic posturing, Nollen remains true to the spirit of his subjects and opts for a two-fisted, no bullshit approach. I really appreciate how deeply he throws himself into the work, freely admitting “a meaningful (though a bit one-sided) conversation with a tombstone or two.” He’s as a film writer should be– intense, obsessive, and highly-focused; reverent without succumbing to hollow adulation.

The main drive of the work is the examination of the complex personal and working relationship between the three (though large swaths of the book are dedicated to advancing the underrated Ward Bond to his rightful place in the pantheon). None of these men could really be pinned down or branded with a particular stereotype– each had a volatile mix of id and ego (often sprinkled heavily with alcohol) that fused together to create a kind of perfect storm of filmic art.
The complex psychology of Ford’s relationships with the two men is indeed worthy of an entire volume– you see a strange kind of ownership emerge, resulting from Ford’s “discovering” of the two actors. This ownership was generally expressed in verbal (and often physical) sadism as Ford became master of his “whipping boys,” something which may have even tied into his potential bisexuality:

“Ford loved John Wayne and Ward Bond, but his true sexual orientation wasn’t something he would have discussed with them, or anyone else. When it came to his own life and psyche, Pappy [Ford] avoided the truth, exaggerated, lied, or just didn’t ‘have any goddamn idea.’ The positive emotions he felt for his two favorite actors and whipping boys may have been the underlying cause of his negative, sadistic treatment of them (and himself); but even a lifetime of psychoanalysis may not have ‘proved’ anything.”

Vindictive and controlling, Ford “froze out” Wayne for eight years when he appeared in a rival director’s Western (Raoul Walsh’s THE BIG TRAIL) and later, when Bond made serious forays into television (WAGON TRAIN) and Wayne tried to direct a picture of his own (THE ALAMO), Ford would sometimes install himself as a presence on set and attempt to undermine/co-opt the work therein. These behaviors even extended beyond the trio– he punched out Henry Fonda (!) on MISTER ROBERTS and made cruel, deliberate use of alcohol to wring earth-shattering, hungover performances out of the likes of Victor McLaglen in THE INFORMER and Woody Strode in SERGEANT RUTLEDGE.

Though he reveals these men “warts and all,” Nollen also paints a portrait of devoted friends and masterful artists whose lives and creative outlets meshed almost completely. (For instance, despite the abuse, Ford chose Bond to play his own alter-ego in the deeply personal THE WINGS OF EAGLES.)

Nollen takes on the accusations of racism in Ford’s films, and reveals his struggle to show all sides despite the constraints of the system– especially evident in films like THE SEARCHERS, SERGEANT RUTLEDGE, and CHEYENNE AUTUMN. He tackles the strange political spectrum of the men, too, with John Ford’s patriotic progressivism, Wayne’s conservatism, and Ward Bond’s ultraconservatism (and yet it was Ford who took his camera overseas into the crucible of World War II while Wayne and Bond remained in Hollywood). He doesn’t shy away from Ward Bond’s shameful behavior in the McCarthy era as a supporter of the blacklist:

“The social climbing Bond’s ultimate political affront to Ford involved an invitation to a party he was throwing for Senator Joseph McCarthy. His great mentor [Ford] simply answered, ‘You can take your party and shove it. I wouldn’t meet that guy in a whorehouse. He’s a disgrace and a danger to our country.'”

Bond’s involvement with the blacklist feels like a moral counterpoint to Ford’s extensive work with the U.S. armed forces in World War II and beyond, and much attention here is paid to his military career (I learned that in North Africa a Nazi actually surrendered himself to John Ford!)

Along the way, Nollen delves into a vast spectrum of material including Ford’s relationship with his older brother Francis (mentor, actor, and silent film director), Ford’s gleeful propensity for Chaucer/Shakespearean-style low comedy and his hilariously bizarre obsession with highlighting Ward Bond’s “horse’s ass” in shot compositions (“Although FORT APACHE is a serious examination of the mythology of the American West, it humorously can be branded Ford’s ‘ass-travaganza'”). Of particular interest to me were Ford’s work with Victor McLaglen (whose performance in THE INFORMER is one of the greatest in filmdom), his direction of genius child actor and later genre-movie legend Roddy McDowall in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, Bond’s artistic process as unofficial show-runner on WAGON TRAIN, and the compelling, touching latter-day friendship between Ford and Woody Strode– and the book certainly has some genuinely emotional, poignant moments as the three “good-bad” men’s lives dwindle to a close.

In the end, it definitely gets you amped up to watch some John Ford films– I’ve probably seen at least two dozen or so at this point, but there’s still scores more I need to get my hands on, and there’s obviously some big gaps in my knowledge. For instance, since I’ve read THREE BAD MEN, MISTER ROBERTS, THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, 3 GODFATHERS, and WAGON MASTER have now leapt to the forefront of my queue.

THREE BAD MEN is published by McFarland (Order line: 800-253-2187), ISBN 978-0-7864-5854-7
Posted by Sean Gill at 10:47 AM 2 comments:
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Labels: 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, Book Review, John Ford, John Wayne, Roddy McDowall, War, Ward Bond, Western
Friday, May 24, 2013

 
 

Book Review: Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond.

Third review out of the 23 I chose for Scott’s book. Scott says that Toby got exactly what he Intended to project! Check it out and don’t forget to leave a post for Toby…….probably will want to sign up for his blog, also. KEITH

50 Westerns From The 50s.

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John Ford didn’t have much interest in discussing his creative process. Anybody who’s read a book or two on him knows he downplayed his incredible artistry (and sentimentality) at every turn, preferring to fall back on his reputation (deserved) as a mean old man who happened to make great movies.

Ford’s greatest collaborator, John Wayne, worked very hard to look like he wasn’t working at all. The fact that so many today think of Wayne as more a personality than an actor shows how well he succeeded.

Ward Bond was a natural, plain and simple. Over 200 films and a TV series, Wagon Train, certainly benefited from his style (or lack of style).

942276_10152879710740495_1097840882_nThe politics of these three men were as varied as their approach to their craft, but they formed a fast friendship that lasted for decades — from Wayne and Bond playing football at USC in the…

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL

 

Three Bad Men John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond by Scott Allen Nollen

This review is from Mike’s Film Talk. He saw Colin’s from Riding the High Country and has done a super job on this one without repeating Colin…..hard to do. Thanks Mike Sign up for His blog, and make sure you click on the Stars to show if you like it. KEITH

Mikes Film Talk

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Growing up all three of these men were an integral part of my childhood. Specifically John “Pappy” Ford in the cinemas and of course John Wayne ‘Duke’ and Ward Bond as well, but Mr Bond had the added distinction of being in my folks’ living rooms each week as Major Seth Adams, in Wagon Train.

Of course, I saw all the films and television shows long after they were initially made. The films, I saw on Saturday night at the movies (usually accompanied by a huge bowl of popcorn and a tall ice filled glass of Coca-Cola) and the Wagon Train episodes I watched were the newer ones with John McIntire with the occasional re-run with Ward Bond in. Come to think of it, the McIntire ones were probably re-runs as well.

I do remember with perfect clarity that my family adored the John Wayne film Rio Bravo…

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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL

 

Three Bad Men: John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond – Scott Allen Nollen

As I gathered the reviewers for Three Bad Men, I thought first of Colin from Riding the High Country. I have always found his film and actor reviews to be exceptional. However, he had never written a book review. I asked him anyway. Not only did he come out with the first one, but anyone will be hard pressed to provide as complete, fair, and accurate accounting of this
book as Colin has. If you don’t have him in your “favorites”, just read this…..he will be shortly! HAWKS WILL (KEITH)

Riding the High Country

Biographies and critiques of the work of John Ford and John Wayne abound to be perfectly frank. As such, any new volume on these men needs to offer some different spin on familiar material, another perspective if you like. Scott Nollen’s new book – Three Bad Men:John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond – does so by examining the lives and careers of not only Ford and Wayne but Bond too. It’s quite common to see works which examine the complex relationship that Ford and Wayne had but Bond tends to be given lower billing. While Nollen makes it clear that Ford was without doubt the prime mover, he also focuses on the significant role Bond played in the old director’s life and that of Wayne. In short, the book establishes just how inextricably these three men were linked on both a personal and professional level.

There is some background sketching…

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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in THREE BAD MEN BOOK REVIEWS ETAL