Yes. John Wayne was almost androgynously good-looking in "The Big Trail." (A remark that I'm sure he wouldn't have appreciated!) This was supposed to be his big "star-making" vehicle, but apparently the studio wasn't prepared to invest in some new-fangled wide-screen cinematography that might have made it into a so-called blockbuster. If they had, they might have made Gary-Cooper type of leading man out of him.
The print I saw of this film was pretty creaky, and I'm wondering if it might be restored as prints of some other early talkies have been. It has a pretty good storyline to it, and I think it has the potential to be better-known than it is if it were restored.
Anyway, I was as surprised as you were to see a John Wayne who could easily be described as "beautiful."
I've read the first few chapters of Scott Eyman's new biography of John Wayne. According to him, it wasn't the studio that refused to invest in wide-screen technology, it was movie theaters. They had just spent money to retool for talkies, and weren't about to retool again that soon for The Big Trail. Fox made the movie in 70 mm Grandeur, but most people saw it in standard 35 mm, where the widescreen effect was lost. Eyman stated that "More people saw the widescreen version of The Big Trail since its rediscovery in 1986 than ever saw it in 1930."