Wednesday, July 25, 2012
'As I walk through this world-nothing can stop the Duke of Earl.
Memories of the Cold War and many Hollywood celebrities of mythical proportions are delved into in this cleverly told tale.
The cast of characters includes Joseph Stalin, Mickey Cohen, Dick Powell, Susan Hayward and others who play prominent parts in the story.
Before Stalin's sudden death, while in the midst of a sexual interlude, he expressed this idea. Since John Wayne was America's biggest hero, having him killed would be a devastating blow to his arch rival, America.
He sends a group of spies that are reminiscent of the Three Stooges, to do the job. The Russians are Zavert, Alexei Alexandra and Ivan Viznapu.
Alexei is placed in charge and in the world of spies, he sends secret codes back to his boss, Boris, who is in Russia.
Boris loves getting the coded messages from Alexei because they are so humorous. Thus, "At first I hated my haircut. Now it's growing on me." Is a code for "...plans are in the making and we are close."
The spies decide that the best manner to get close to John Wayne would be to open a movie studio. The incredulous name for the studio is The Seven Zeros. With this name, they wonder about the phone calls they receive asking if there is any intelligent or successful employees at this company.
There is quite a bit of subtle humor in the story as witnessed in the sub-plot. This deals with John Wayne being asked to play the role of a historical warrior for the movie "The Conqueror." The film was written with Marlon Brando in mind. Dick Powell will be both the producer and director, with Howard Hughes financing the movie.
Wayne refuses to take voice lessons so will still sound like himself in the historic film and when he speaks to Dick Powell about who will be his co-star, there is an amusing by-play of what he sees in each star.
The destinies of the Russians and John Wayne circle each other as one amusing event follows another.
This is a very amusing and entertaining story. The film was shot not far from where the United States was testing nuclear devices and the author adds facts about the people involved with the movie. He was surprised at how many of them died from cancer, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward and Agnes Moorehead.
It was a most enjoyable blend of history and fiction, perfect for a quick summer read.
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Giveaway ends Aug 9th.