New Gilcrease Museum Exhibit On "The Big Trail," John Wayne's 1st Lead Role

Wednesday, May 16th 2018, 7:23 pm
By: News On 6

When did an actor names Marion Morrison become the movie icon John Wayne?

You can find out at Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum in a new exhibit about the movie “The Big Trail.”

The exhibit is about more than just John Wayne, but you can’t miss him.

“What I have found in the three weeks that this has been up, is that John Wayne has a brand and it’s strong,” said Mark Dolph, from Gilcrease Museum.

He died almost 40 years ago, but movies live forever, and this one, “The Big Trail,” was his first as a leading man.

The exhibit is about the epic movie of westward expansion.

The Gilcrease received a gift of 50 stereoscopic cards from the family of Marguerite Churchill, John Wayne’s co-star.

The cards feature images shot during the filming of the movie.

The movie was shot totally on location along what was the Oregon Trail.  They hired real Native Americans to portray Native Americans and they moved thousands of actors and animals from location to location across the American west – which was a big job in the early days of “talking pictures.”

These images help tell that story – but you can’t ignore 23-year-old John Wayne in his first big movie.

The Circle Cinema will be screening the movie “The Big Trail” on Sunday, May 27th, at 2:00 p.m.