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Why Joseph Stalin ordered John Wayne’s death


Why Joseph Stalin ordered John Wayne’s death


Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953, reportedly ordered the assassination of Hollywood actor John Wayne due to his anti-communist stance.

Stalin was made aware of Wayne’s influence by Russian filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov, according to Michael Munn’s 2001 book, John Wayne – The Man Behind The Myth.

Stalin believed Wayne embodied ardent anti-communist beliefs and viewed him as a threat to his communist crusade.

Orson Welles, acclaimed actor, director, and producer of Citizen Kane, told Munn during a dinner in 1983 that Stalin had decided to have Wayne killed.

Munn acknowledged that Welles was a “great storyteller” but asserted that the tale was offered to him without a prompt.

Stuntman Yakima Canutt, Wayne’s close friend, also told Munn that the FBI had discovered agents sent to Hollywood to kill Wayne.


The FBI informed Wayne of the plot, and he reportedly devised a plan with scriptwriter Jimmy Grant to abduct the assassins, drive them to a beach, and mimic an execution to frighten them.

Wayne’s anti-communist beliefs were well-known, and he played a prominent role in creating the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals (MPA) in 1944, becoming its President five years later.

The MPA’s membership included Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney, and Clark Gable, among others.

Wayne detested the values of communism and was a vocal opponent of the Communist Party in Hollywood.

He testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, stating, “I am not a member of any party.”

Unlike many of his contemporaries, including Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Mel Brooks, and Kirk Douglas, Wayne did not serve in World War II.

He was excused on medical grounds and continued his film career.

However, Wayne’s experiences during his childhood and youth may have influenced his ethical compass.

He once recounted a lesson he learned about cruelty to animals and people from a Polish boy who had recently arrived in his neighborhood.

Wayne remembered catching a bee and tying a thread around it, so it could only fly in circles.

The Polish boy admonished him and said, “Don’t ever be cruel to animals. Or people.”

Wayne said the incident was quite a lesson and one he would never forget.

John Wayne remains a Hollywood icon, known for his rugged good looks and leading roles in films such as True Grit, The Searchers, and The Quiet Man.

His influence on American culture and cinema is undisputed, and he remains a beloved figure to this day.

However, the story of Stalin’s alleged order to have Wayne killed adds a new dimension to his legacy and underscores the tensions of the Cold War era.

The details of the plot to kill Wayne shed light on Stalin’s paranoia and ruthless tactics to eliminate perceived threats to his regime.

The fact that a Hollywood actor could be viewed as such a threat speaks to the reach of American culture and the power of cinema as a medium.

Wayne’s commitment to his anti-communist beliefs and his willingness to confront the Communist Party in Hollywood made him a target for those who sought to silence dissenting voices.

While the story of Stalin’s alleged order to kill Wayne may be apocryphal, it is a reminder of the dangers of totalitarian regimes and the importance of defending freedom of speech and expression.

Wayne’s legacy as an American icon is secure, but his anti-communist beliefs and his willingness to stand up for his convictions in the face of opposition continue to resonate today.

John Wayne’s life and career continue to fascinate audiences around the world, and his influence on American culture and cinema is as strong as ever.

His story is a testament to the enduring power of the silver screen and the ability of film to capture the imaginations of millions.

However, it is also a cautionary tale about the dangers of extremism and the importance of preserving individual freedoms.

As the world continues to grapple with the threat of totalitarianism and authoritarianism, stories like John Wayne’s take on renewed significance.

Wayne’s commitment to his values and his willingness to defend them, even in the face of danger, serve as a reminder of the importance of courage and conviction in the face of adversity.

In an era where political polarization and extremism are on the rise, Wayne’s story offers a message of hope and inspiration.

It is a reminder that, even in the darkest of times, there are those who are willing to stand up for what is right and just, and that their actions can inspire others to do the same.

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