Sunday, July 24, 2011

Flashback Writer Profile – Glendon Swarthout

The late Glendon Swarthout was a Michigan boy, graduated from the University of Michigan and worked at Michigan State. A writer of diverse talents, he published novels, criticism and dramas. His paperback editions were once commonplace and highly regarded. Today he is best known as the author of The Shootist which his son Miles Swarthout adapted as a screenplay which became John Wayne’s final film.  Swarthout’s famous bit of dialogue from The Shootist  – “I will not be laid a hand on. I will not be wronged. I will not stand for an insult. I don’t do these things to others. I require the same from them.” (chapter three) – is now attributed to John Wayne and has become synonymous with the great actor’s image and political beliefs.
They Came to Cordura was made into a film starring Gary Cooper, with a changed ending to please the 1950s audiences who couldn’t tolerate seeing their heroes die. As you might expect Swarthout’s novel is much better than the film. Bless the Beasts and Children is a classic coming of age story, and Where the Boys Are is cheesy 1960s camp. His many other novels include The Cadillac Cowboys, The Old Colts, The Tin Lizzie Troop, A Christmas Gift, Skeletons and The Homesman. You can visit the official website HERE!

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