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Keokuk Film Festival to Honor John Wayne

Oct 18, 2019

The 2nd annual Conrad Nagel Film Festival will be held October 18 & 19 at the Grand Theater in downtown Keokuk. The star of this year's festival will be John Wayne.

Joyce Glasscock with Main Street Keokuk said the city chose to honor the Hollywood icon, whose real name was Marion Morrison, because of his connection to the city.

“John Wayne, for a very brief time, lived in Keokuk with his family at the corner of 11th and Main Streets [above a local pharmacy],” said Glasscock. “They lived here for about six months so there is a real connection to Keokuk.”

John Wayne is also included in the city’s Walk of Fame.

Glasscock said three movies starring John Wayne will be shown during the festival.

  • Friday, Oct. 18 – 6:00 p.m. – Opening Reception
  • Friday, Oct. 18 – 7:00 p.m. – Presentation: McLintock
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 – 2:00 p.m. – Presentation: Sons of Katie Elder (reception to follow)
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 – 6:00 p.m. – Evening Reception
  • Saturday, Oct. 19 – 7:00 p.m. – True Grit

Glasscock said there will be a red carpet experience for people attending the festival, with interviews of attendees being aired in the theater prior to each movie. There will also be a John Wayne impression contest and a game in which people throw a ten-gallon hat on a weather vane, similar to the final scene of the movie "McLintock."

Glasscock said a representative of the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum in Winterset, Iowa will be on hand to talk about Wayne and his family and to answer questions. She said there will also be movie memorabilia, horse-drawn carriage rides, a screening of the winning entry in a silent film competition, and samples of a whiskey named after “the Duke.”

Glasscock said tickets can be purchased at the Chamber office, from a festival committee member, or online.

The film festival is named for Conrad Nagel, who was born in Keokuk. He was a film, radio, and TV star in the 1920’s and 1930’s as part of an extensive career in Hollywood.

“It will always be known as the Conrad Nagel Film Festival,” said Glasscock. “But our intent is to feature people with connections to Keokuk and connections to Iowa each year.”

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