"My real name is Marion Morrison...I'm happy people call me 'Duke'...If you were my size, wore cowboy boots and a big hat, outrode, outfought and outshot all the bad men in the west...how would you like to climb down off a horse, throw your saddle over the corral rail and then walk off-camera to sit down in a chair labelled Marion?" "I don't work for the producers...I don't work for the studio...I don't work for the critics...I work for the audience...I try always to give the best of myself so that people aren't disappointed in me." "When the doctor taps you on the shoulder and says, 'You've got cancer' the sun sure doesn't shine any brighter. Yeah! I was scared. I was tough to get along with. I'd discovered I was fallible." A flesh and blood study of John Wayne, unashamedly aimed at the audience, the way he liked to do business. McGivern allows Wayne to tell his own story, mostly in his own words. It is the story of a man who chose to leave normality behind to create his own legend.
Of all the complexities and composites that made up John Wayne, the image perhaps shines the brightest, but whilst his face is still seen on the TV screens around the world people will remember a man of true courage and honesty.