DEATH IN NEVADA. REMARKS ON THE MARGIN OF JOHN WAYNE’S FINAL ROLE
The essay seeks to analyse three seminal John Wayne films, namely The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Shootist, while its main theoretical aim is to conceive the apparent simplicity of Wayne’s acting technique and the striking similarity of his roles as resulting from the allegorical quality of the figures he had portrayed (and the generic features of the western film as such). This is not to say that the cinematic mystery is replaced with the pop-cultural form of the mere hermeneutic convention. On the contrary, the allegorical “John Wayne proper” (not to be confused with “John Wayne improper alias Duke Morrison”), when “shot to death” for the last time in his final The Shootist, turns out to be a highly enigmatic, if not “daemonic,” emblem of Justice, Truth and Courage, as eerily fathomless as the values he represents.