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The Dook and the IRA?

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  • The Dook and the IRA?

    I was reading an article written by a British Army Veteran of the terrorist war in Northern Ireland. He related how he had always been a big fan of both John Wayne and John Ford's films. That was till he found out that both of 'em had expressed sympathies for the IRA. Being a Limey and having no knowledge of these goings on in your country, can anyone enlighten me please?


    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

  • #2
    Well, there's zero to indicate that John Wayne would have had any sympathy or support for the IRA online. He isn't Irish, and was staunchly conservative to the point he was a member of the John Birch Society. I can't see Wayne having sympathy for a group that had a large portion supporting Marxism. Wayne also died in 1972 of stomach cancer and had been fighting that for a number of years. Given the modern IRA really didn't get going until roughly 1969-- before that the old IRA was an on again, off again thing.

    Same with John Ford. While Ford is Irish (birth name John Martin Feeney) and is described as a liberal Democrat, he was also a Captain in the US Navy, worked for the OSS in WW 2, and pretty staunchly pro-American. I can't see anything that would indicate he had sympathies for the IRA.

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    • #3
      That's what confused me to be fair, with the little I do know of John Wayne's political beliefs, it just didn't seem to sound right?.
      I'm beginning to wonder if the Veteran's article was having a go at you lot over the pond, good way of doing it, slagging off two of Hollywood's greats.
      I know back in the day, a very dim view was taken by serving British soldiers, of the money raised over the pond in support of the IRA. It's something the blokes who did the foot patrols in NI have never forgotten/forgiven to this day.


      The long toll of the brave
      Is not lost in darkness
      Over the fruitful earth
      And athwart the seas
      Hath passed the light of noble deeds
      Unquenchable forever.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
        I know back in the day, a very dim view was taken by serving British soldiers, of the money raised over the pond in support of the IRA. It's something the blokes who did the foot patrols in NI have never forgotten/forgiven to this day.


        You can blame Whitey Bulger for a lot of that. He and his brother sent a lot of misbegotten funds out to NORAID back in the day.
        ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
        IN MARE IN COELO

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          Well, there's zero to indicate that John Wayne would have had any sympathy or support for the IRA online. He isn't Irish, and was staunchly conservative to the point he was a member of the John Birch Society. I can't see Wayne having sympathy for a group that had a large portion supporting Marxism. Wayne also died in 1972 of stomach cancer and had been fighting that for a number of years. Given the modern IRA really didn't get going until roughly 1969-- before that the old IRA was an on again, off again thing.

          Same with John Ford. While Ford is Irish (birth name John Martin Feeney) and is described as a liberal Democrat, he was also a Captain in the US Navy, worked for the OSS in WW 2, and pretty staunchly pro-American. I can't see anything that would indicate he had sympathies for the IRA.
          I thought that John Wayne died in '79, but that detail aside, your description of Marion Morrison's politics is accurate. John Ford's, however, are a little more . . . . complicated.

          [John] Ford's legal name remained John Feeney. He was the son of an Irish immigrant saloonkeeper and Democratic Party boss in Portland, Maine. During the Irish War of Independence in 1921, Ford traveled to his ancestral homeland of County Galway to give financial and moral support to cousins fighting for the Irish Republican Army against the Black and Tans. Ford’s visit lasted only a few days, ending when the British roughed him up and ordered him to leave the country. Perhaps it was the influence of his Irish heritage, with its long tradition of secrecy in the face of foreign occupation, that led him to erect such formidable barriers to his inner life.

          Ford’s Irishness also helped him empathize with the dispossessed American tenant farmers of the Great Depression, who reminded him of the Irish made homeless during the Great Famine of the mid-19th century. He became an outspoken supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs to combat economic injustice. In 1933, when Hollywood, like the rest of the nation, was in the throes of labor unrest, Ford helped found the Screen Directors Guild (SDG). He served on the guild committee that opened negotiations with the producers and remained an officer during the guild’s first few years of existence. In 1938, he became a vice president of the newly formed Motion Picture Democratic Committee, which promoted progressive and liberal candidates. He also became involved with the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, another broadly based coalition of leftists and liberals united by their opposition to fascism. He donated an ambulance to the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War and helped found the Motion Picture Artists Committee to Aid Republican Spain.

          In a 1937 letter to his nephew Bob Ford, who was fighting with the International Brigade in Spain, Ford wrote, “I am glad you [have] the good part of the O’Feeney blood. Some of it is very God-damned awful--we are liars, weaklings & selfish drunkards, but there has always been a stout rebel quality in the family and a peculiar passion for justice. I am glad you inherited the good strain. Politically, I am a definite socialistic democrat--always left.” . . . .

          "The Convoluted Politics of John Ford," by Joseph McBride, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jun 2001
          In his later years, Ford became a supporter first of Barry Goldwater, and then Richard Nixon, though this article claims that his political switch was predicated on his antipathy towards Lyndon Johnson, and not any specific policy issue: LBJ had that effect on people.

          The only John Ford flicks addressing the UK/British Empire that come to mind are How Green Was My Valley and The Informer -- and neither was at all complimentary of British governance of non-English countries.
          I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            Well, there's zero to indicate that John Wayne would have had any sympathy or support for the IRA online. He isn't Irish, and was staunchly conservative to the point he was a member of the John Birch Society. I can't see Wayne having sympathy for a group that had a large portion supporting Marxism. Wayne also died in 1972 of stomach cancer and had been fighting that for a number of years. Given the modern IRA really didn't get going until roughly 1969-- before that the old IRA was an on again, off again thing.

            Same with John Ford. While Ford is Irish (birth name John Martin Feeney) and is described as a liberal Democrat, he was also a Captain in the US Navy, worked for the OSS in WW 2, and pretty staunchly pro-American. I can't see anything that would indicate he had sympathies for the IRA.
            You will if you watch The Quiet Man.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #7
              ^ The Quiet Man: another John Ford flick . . . . Slipped my memory before . . . . nothing terribly political, as I recall . . . .
              I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                You will if you watch The Quiet Man.
                Huh? A semi-comedic movie about a Irish expat that moves back to Ireland from the US and his troubles with his new wife...?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                  Huh? A semi-comedic movie about a Irish expat that moves back to Ireland from the US and his troubles with his new wife...?
                  Obviously, you have not actually watched the film. The IRA is present in it, and Ford presents them as a benign and benevolent organization.

                  Hint: Watch the confrontational scenes with his future brother-in-law. There is a scene in which the BIL challenges the IRA and they inform him that if they were involved, not a stone of his home would be left standing, and the little - Mickolene - guy says "Ah, such a lovely sentiment..."

                  However, throughout the film they remain a kind of benevolent backdrop . Ford was himself friends with an IRA official.

                  https://www.bing.com/search?q=ira+me...BLH&sp=2&ghc=1

                  You might also pay attention to the scene in which the visiting priest receives a contrived welcome from a faked crowd of supporters, referring quite clearly to the sharp religious division of Ireland at that time.
                  Last edited by Mountain Man; 11 Feb 20, 15:21.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                  • #10
                    The IRA popping up in 'The Quiet Man' is nothing. John Ford depicts 'em as rebel boyos drinking too much Guinness and plotting revolution! One of my all time favourite Wayne/Ford movies.


                    The long toll of the brave
                    Is not lost in darkness
                    Over the fruitful earth
                    And athwart the seas
                    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                    Unquenchable forever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And yet The Quiet Man's depiction of a Protestant cleric was rather benign, favorable in fact . . . .
                      I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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