John Wayne as Michael “Guns” Donovan, island saloon owner and U.S. Navy veteran
French Polynesia, December 1963
Film: Donovan’s Reef
Release Date: June 12, 1963
Director: John Ford
Costume Designer: Edith Head
Who better than John Wayne to feature on the day before that most American of holidays, the Fourth of July?
Donovan’s Reef takes John Wayne from his familiar settings of the wild west or a world war and places him in French Polynesia (though actually filmed in Hawaii) as the grizzled manager of the titular island tavern.
John Wayne is hardly a name that comes to mind when thinking of classic beachgoers, but photographs like this from Duke’s Acapulco resort in the 1940s taken by Phil Stern prove that Wayne (and fellow macho pal Gary Cooper) could be quite natty when the time came to relaxing under the sun. Continue reading