Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Say it with awe

I enjoyed Jim Davila's post Apocrypha Now! on Paleojudaica concerning an urban legend on Ben Hur, with the link to the article here:

Apocrypha Now! Urban Legends of the Silver Screen
David Emery

Let me add something that I suspect of being an urband legend. In The Greatest Story Ever Told, there is a famous cameo for John Wayne. Here's a typical version of the story, from an interview with the late Brandon Lee:
Lee: Nope, no John Wayne. Did you ever hear the story about John Wayne when he was in Greatest Story Ever Told?

MAL: No.

Lee: Well, there he is at the bottom of the cross, Christ is dying, and I believe his line was, "Truly he was the son of God." So he said the line and the director came over to him and said, "You think could you do that with a little more awe?"

He said, "Sure," and so they roll the cameras for a second take and he said, (Brandon assumes a Texas twang) "Aweeee, truly he is the son of God." [laughter] It's suppose to be a true story, I don't know. [Source: Brandon Lee's Last Interview]
Well, I suspect it's just a great urban legend. I wonder if there is any way of finding out whether it is for certain though. Some internet sites hint that they think that it is (e.g. here). George Stevens and John Wayne have both been dead for a generation, so no one can now ask them. I wonder if anyone else has ever made an informed comment?


Tyler F. Williams said...

The Internet Movie Database includes John Wayne in its list of Full Cast and Crew for the movie, though it hasn't been verified. So the IMDb may just be propagating the legend.

Tyler F. Williams said...

D'oh! I get it now... the urban legend you were refering to is whether or not John Wayne said the line with the western twang during the shooting, not whether or not he was in the film. I can read, really! :-)

Jim Davila said...

I recall seeing the movie many years ago, looking for this scene, and seeing it. John Wayne was the centurion (at least it sounded like him) and he said "Surely this man was the sonnuvGod." Leastways, that's the way I remember it. Maybe some one can rent the movie and check it.

Jim Davila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Davila said...

Just to be clear, what I was trying to say in the last post was that I do recall the vintage John Wayne "Western twang" in the scene. I can't speak for the truth of the anecdote