The annual John Wayne Film festival, launched in 2011 in the little West Texas town of Snyder, is moving this year to Dallas. Under co-chairs Anne and Steve Stodghill and David Hale Smith, the four-day festival will screen at least a dozen of The Duke’s classic feature films at Dallas’ LOOK Cinemas off Belt Line Road. Members of the late movie star’s family will attend the April event, which will benefit the nonprofit John Wayne Cancer Foundation.
As explained in this story, the fundraiser started and grew under the direction of actor Barry Tubb, who lives in Snyder. However, “Dallas is more Hollywood than Hollywood,” says Tubb, who will attend the festival here April 24 through 27. “So Dallas is the ultimate place to have it. The colt that was born is Snyder is going to live in a bigger arena in Dallas.”
That’s due in large part to Steve Stodghill, a flamboyant local lawyer who’s vice chair of the national council for the American Film Institute. A huge John Wayne fan, Stodghill says 75 percent of LOOK’s 3,600 seats for 12 Wayne flicks have been pre-sold without any advance publicity. “The response has been incredible,” he says. “It’s amazing how many people still love John Wayne, so many years after his death.” Then, living up to the flamboyant part, the lawyer adds: “If you don’t hate cancer and love John Wayne, then we’re not sure you’re a real Texan.”