No this is not the title of a movie, but why this never was turned into a movie is beyond me.
Joseph Stalin wanted John Wayne gone so badly he sent two men to pose as FBI agents to take him down.It might come as a surprise that Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator, man of steel, and murderer of millions, was quite the movie buff. He had a private theater in each one of his homes,and in his last years, the cinema became not only his favourite entertainment but also a source of political inspiration.
Stalin was so angered by John Wayne’s anti-communism that he plotted to have him murdered. He ordered the KGB to assassinate John Wayne because he considered him a threat to the Soviet Union.
When the Russian filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov attended a peace conference in New York in 1949 he heard about John Wayne and his anti-communist beliefs. When he returned to the Soviet Union he immediately told Stalin about John Wayne.
Wayne had previously clashed with the Communists because of his opinions, even receiving a threatening anonymous letter. When one of his friends advised him to be more cautious, the Duke declared “no goddamn Commie’s gonna frighten me.”
The situation took a decidedly more serious turn, however, when the movie star attracted the attention of the Soviet dictator himself.
The alleged assassination attempt unfolded in the early 1950’s, just as the Communist scare in the United States was starting to peak.
Sources reported that after one of his routine film viewings, Stalin suddenly decided that Wayne was a direct “threat to the cause and should be assassinated.”
American agents also took the threat seriously enough to offer Wayne protection, to which he replied: “I’m not gonna hide away for the rest of my life, this is the land of the free and that’s the way I’m gonna stay.”
According to Wayne’s stuntman and real-life cowboy Yakima Canutt, the FBI foiled at least one assassination attempt with the help of the Duke himself.
After getting word that two KGB agents posing as FBI agents were going to come to the movie studio where Wayne was filming and lure him away, the FBI and the actors decided to outflank them. When the Soviets came into Wayne’s office as expected, the actual FBI agents were hidden in a room next door and were able to burst in and subdue them at gunpoint. The Soviets were so terrified of being sent back to Russia and reporting to Stalin they had failed, that they willingly agreed to provide intelligence to the Americans.
Later, in 1953, Wayne was filming “Hondo” in Mexico when yet another communist cell tried to assassinate him.
The Soviet campaign was canceled after Stalin’s death in 1953 because his successor Nikita Khrushchev was a fan of the film star. In a biography written by Michael Munn it says Krushchev told Wayne in a private meeting in 1958: “That was a decision of Stalin during his last five mad years. When Stalin died, I rescinded that order.”
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