Initially, John Wayne appeared mostly in small parts, but his first leading role came in Raoul Walsh
's Western The Big Trail
(1930), an early widescreen film epic which was a box-office failure. Leading roles followed in numerous B movies
during the 1930s, most of them also Westerns, without becoming a major name. It was John Ford
(1939) that made Wayne a mainstream star, and he starred in 142 motion pictures altogether. According to one biographer, "John Wayne personified for millions the nation's frontier heritage.