Three Bad Men

John Ford, John Wayne, Ward Bond


In stock

About the Book

These were unique, complex, personal and professional relationships between master director John Ford and his two favorite actors, John Wayne and Ward Bond. The book provides a biography of each and a detailed exploration of Ford’s work as it was intertwined with the lives and work of both Wayne and Bond (whose biography here is the first ever published). The book reveals fascinating accounts of ingenuity, creativity, toil, perseverance, bravery, debauchery, futility, abuse, masochism, mayhem, violence, warfare, open- and closed-mindedness, control and chaos, brilliance and stupidity, rationality and insanity, friendship and a testing of its limits, love and hate—all committed by a “half-genius, half-Irish” cinematic visionary and his two surrogate sons: Three Bad Men.

About the Author(s)

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Allen Nollen

Foreword by Michael A. Hoey

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 408
Bibliographic Info: 63 photos, filmographies, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5854-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0160-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword: Working for Mr. Ford by Michael A. Hoey 1
Preface: What Would Ward Do? 3
Introduction: Gluteus Maximus and the Power of Feeney’s Myth 9
1  The Boy from Benkelman 13
2  Genesis and John Wayne 16
3  Jack of All Genres 50
4  Boating, Booze and “Boule de Suif” 87
5  Pappy, Wild Bill, Jimmy and Brick 130
6  The Big Son of a Bitch Learns to Act 161
7  Pappy’s Inferno 177
8  Bond and the Blacklist 193
9  ’Cause Wayne Can’t Play the Part 205
10  One Hell of a Binge 227
11  Duke Becomes the Devil, Judge Becomes the Coach 252
12  A Star Steers the Wagon Train 273
13  El Shakespeare de San Antone: “Buenas Noches, Culo del Caballo” 302
14  Do You Miss Ward? 325
Appendix A: The Films of John Ford Featuring John Wayne and/or Ward Bond 343
Appendix B: The Films of Ward Bond 357
Appendix C: The Television Performances of Ward Bond 368
Chapter Notes 375
Bibliography 381
Index 385

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “in depth study”—Western Clippings
  • “Nollen’s book overwhelmed me with new information to digest and even enhanced a few of the movies I’d already seen…One of the most impressive elements of Three Bad Men is Nollen’s familiarity with every film he discusses. For any title mentioned we get at least an honest critical evaluation and often a little opinion too, all expressed eloquently yet in language that any film fan can understand.”—Immortal Ephema
  • “Those films where all three collaborated are examined in detail as is the work they did independently…Nollen’s research is meticulous and scholarly yet the writing style remains highly readable throughout…beautifully illustrated with a thoughtful and interesting selection of photographs…a worthwhile, informative, and entertaining addition to the canon of work on these men”—Riding the High Country
  • “indispensable…valuable insight into their working relationship…Nollen strikes an almost perfect balance between the meticulously researched and the engagingly told. I found this a fun, fast, enlightening read”—Fifties Westerns