WINTERSET, Iowa — 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the movie “True Grit,” starring John Wayne and Glen Campbell.
The John Wayne Birthplace Museum will note that milestone in the annual John Wayne Celebration on May 24 and 25.
The local Iowa Theater will show “True Grit” on Friday night. There will also be an appearance by Dean Smith, who was a stunt man and actor on “True Grit.” Ashley Campbell will provide the music. She is the daughter of the late Glen Campbell.
“True Grit is such a major picture, we couldn’t ignore it,” said Brian Downes, director of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum. “When Duke passed away in 1979, I thought that was the end of the John Wayne story. Little did we know how he was going to endure. His popularity never faded for a moment.”
Downes has been director of the Birthplace Museum since 2008. He actually had the opportunity to meet and interview John Wayne, while he was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
“Got some Tribune letterhead and wrote a letter to John Wayne, just a shot in the dark to see if I can come out and say hello and perhaps work up a story,” said Downes. “I was shocked six weeks later when I got a return letter from him and the note said, ‘it’s going to be a couple of months but let’s stay in touch and we’ll make it happen.'”
Here are the details for the John Wayne Celebration.