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John Wayne Pushed Maureen O’Hara Down That Muddy Hill In McLintock!

Andrew V. McLaglan’s 1963 film “McLintock!” is a loose Western adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” (c. 1592), a problematic play to say the least. The story of Shakespeare’s play involves a willful and bitter young woman named Kate who refuses to settle down and get married. This upsets Kate’s younger sister Bianca, as she will not be permitted to marry until Kate is married. A man named Petruchio is hired to, as the title says, tame the shrew, transforming an outspoken and willful woman into a dutiful wife. By the end, he does. One can easily see the play’s misogynist leanings. Critically speaking, one might be able to see a satire at play, however. Or perhaps it’s merely sexist.
 
“McLintock!” is equally tetchy, with John Wayne playing the Petruchio role, and Maureen O’Hara playing Kate. The story was altered somewhat to explain that Kate and Petrucho, called G.W. in the film, were once married, and she left their home to live a rich life in a big city. They never officially divorced, and there was some latent attraction. This was, it seems, meant to take the curse off of the scene wherein the Petruchio character playfully tormented Kate ostensibly for her own benefit. A lot of “McLinktock!” is devoted to a deal with the local Comanche tribe and the romantic dealings of G.W.’s and Kate’s daughter Becky (Stefanie Powers), but the reconciliation between the two adults is where the film’s drama pivots.
The middle of “McLintock!” involved a brawl in the town, a mud slope, a lot of stunt performers, and Wayne and O’Hara getting coated in glop. On a 1976 episode of “Donahue,” Wayne talked about how he and O’Hara took the dive, and how he had to literally push his co-star into it.
The mud scene

United ArtistsThe scene in question was to feature Wayne and O’Hara standing on the edge of a muddy precipice while all of the film’s comedic and romantic shenanigans were exacerbated thanks to an attempting lynching (yes, the film is quite problematic). The lynching luckily doesn’t happen, and the attempted attackers were to fall into the mud pit, getting as dirty on the outside as they are on the inside. The many townsfolk who did fall into the mud were played by stunt performers, and O’Hara was prepared to step aside and let her double do the dirty work.
Wayne explained on “Donahue” that it was a special kind of plaster that the filmmakers used for mud, and that many were reluctant to do the stunt because it was a cold day, and one of the stunt performers had already injured themselves on a barbed wire fence. He said:
“Not only I actually did it, Marine O’Hara actually did it. And I’ll explain something to you. The stuntmen, we had taken this place and put some plaster in these things and then put that kind of mud they use in oil wells, and then on … ooh, it’s slimy! And it was about 54 degrees, the wind blowing from the north, and somebody had let the barbed wire fence down, so it was cold. And one of these stuntmen went down and tried it and he cut his head.”
Of course, after an injury a lot of renegotiation immediately began to occur. Some of the stunt performers reconsidered their daily wage, and began asking for higher wages. Wayne didn’t declare his motivation for doing so, but he did seem to overhear the financial discussions, and seemed to feel that Maureen O’Hara could do a better, cheaper job than her double.
‘Stick me with a hatpin.’
United ArtistsWayne said:
“Now they’re all standing around talking about, ‘Well I don’t know, I think I’ll do $150 for this…’ And I said, ‘Maureen, you ready?’ and she said, ‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘Get over there!’ She got over there I said, ‘Stick me with a hatpin!’ She did and I went ‘Wham!’ Down she went, cursing at me all the way down, and the stuntmen had to change the amount that they felt that stunt was worth.”
The hatpin gesture may have been Wayne trying to get his own motivation going.
It was a way to negotiate with stunt performers, one might suppose, but not one that O’Hara was happy about. Indeed, O’Hara seems to have shouldered a lot of abuse for “McLintock!” On the film’s DVD special features, she recalled a later scene wherein Wayne spanked her with a shovel, and recalled that he didn’t bother to hit her softly. In her words, “My bottom was black and blue for weeks!” O’Hara wasn’t blindsided by Wayne’s gruff behavior, luckily. Indeed, the two actors has previously starred together in “Rio Grande,” “The Quiet Man,” and “The Wings of Eagles.”
They would go on to star opposite each other in 1971’s “Big Jake,” and they were said to be good friends who had similar political opinions — they were two of the most right-leaning people in Hollywood — so the mud and shovel incidents were, one would hope, mere professional exchanges.
 

John Wayne

John Wayne’s Cause of Death and His Last Words

John Wayne is a legendary Western movie star who the world will always recognize for his contributions to the medium. However, his final words on his deathbed didn’t have anything to do with movies or his career. Rather, he used them to speak sentimental, heartfelt words aimed at his daughter, Aissa Wayne, who stayed at his bedside.

John Wayne’s cause of death was stomach cancer

John Wayne wearing a cowboy hat

John Wayne | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

According to History.com, Wayne died on June 11, 1979, of stomach cancer at the age of 72. However, it wasn’t his first encounter with cancer, as he fought it for more than a decade. Unfortunately, the doctors reported that the actor was too weak to begin chemotherapy and experimental treatment, which the actor approved of.

Wayne coined the term “The Big C” for cancer in 1964. He ultimately needed to have his left lung and four ribs removed. Wayne seemed to recover at the time, despite regularly being short of breath. However, he didn’t stop his habit of smoking and chewing tobacco regularly, which certainly didn’t help with his situation.

John Wayne’s last words were to his daughter, Aissa Wayne

Outsider confirmed that Wayne was surrounded by his family during his stay in the hospital. He was never left alone, as the doctors tried to do all they could to strengthen his physical state. However, their efforts ultimately failed. Wayne spent his last days before his death in and out of consciousness.

Wayne’s name is generally associated with a tough sense of masculinity, but he also had a sentimental side of him. These stories particularly come from his family, including Wayne’s final words.

Wayne’s daughter, Aissa, was at his bedside at the time of his death. She was holding her father’s hand and asked him if he knew who she was. He responded with his last words, “Of course, I know who you are. You’re my girl. I love you.”

‘The Shootist’ was his final acting role

Wayne’s final movie role before his death was starring as J.B. Books in The Shootist. The film follows his character, who is an aging gunfighter who has cancer. He heads to Nevada and rents a room from the widowed Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her son, Gillom (Ron Howard). Many folks confront Books for various reasons involving his notoriety. However, Books doesn’t plan to die quietly but will go out with a bang.

Wayne surprised critics and audiences with his performance, as many folks previously believed that he simply played himself in all of his roles. However, he wouldn’t ultimately earn an Oscar nomination for his role.

Wayne earned his first two Oscar nominations for Sands of Iwo Jima and The Alamo. However, it wouldn’t be until 1969’s True Grit that he would finally earn the golden statue. Many of his fans still believe that he deserved to get an Oscar nomination for his final work on The Shootist.

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John Wayne

John Wayne Was ‘Miserable’ Because of ‘Venomous Remarks’ on ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Western genre went through a series of changes over the years. However, John Wayne will always remain one of the most iconic depictions of the Western film genre with performances in big titles, such as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Unfortunately, he didn’t have such an easy time on the set. Wayne had a “miserable” time filming because of John Ford‘s “venomous remarks.”

John Wayne played Tom Doniphon in ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' John Wayne as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart as Ransom Stoddard shouting at assembly

L-R: John Wayne as Tom Doniphon and James Stewart as Ransom Stoddard | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance follows Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) as he returns to a small town for a funeral. The press questions his arrival, but they’re about to hear the story of his connection to a local man named Tom Doniphon (Wayne). The story brings audiences back in town when Tom saved Stoddard from Liberty Valance’s (Lee Marvin) crew of outlaws. However, Stoddard and Tom are the only two willing to stand up to him and his crew.

Wayne’s performance in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is iconic. He once again delivers his Western charm along with his repeated use of the line “pilgrim.” As a result, popular culture continues to refer back to the legendary actor’s performance.

John Wayne was ‘miserable’ because of John Ford’s ‘venomous remarks’ on the set

Wayne worked with Ford on many films, including The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. However, the filmmaker often targeted Wayne with “venomous remarks,” verbally attacking him. Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth detailed some of the comments that Ford made toward the actor, which really made him angry.

“But the most damage Ford did was to the friendship me and Duke Wayne might have had,” co-star Woody Strode said “He kept needling Duke about his failure to make it as a football player, and because I had been a professional player, Ford kept saying to Duke, ‘Look at Woody. He’s a real football player.’”

However, the comments didn’t stop there. Ford brought up Wayne not serving in the military while on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. As a result, he praised Stewart’s service. This is a particular weak spot for the actor, who deeply regretted not serving in the military when he had the chance.

Strode continued: “It’s like he’d needle him about whatever reasons he had for not enlisting in the war by asking Jimmy, ‘How many times did you risk your life over Germany, Jimmy?’ And Jimmy would kind of go, ‘Oh, shucks’ or whatever, and Ford would say to Duke, ‘How rich did you get while Jimmy was risking his life?’ … What a miserable film to make.”

‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ goes down as one of the best Westerns of all time

Ford never came forward with a specific reason for verbally attacking Wayne on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Perhaps it was to get a better performance out of the actor. However, it clearly left an impact on the cast and crew.

Fortunately, that didn’t negatively impact the finished product. Wayne fans often assert that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of the best Western films of all time. It continues to impact filmmaking to this day. The film only earned an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design, but it remains a classic that many viewers rewatch.

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John Wayne

John Wayne Was ‘Ready For a Fight’ With His ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’ Co-Star

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is one of John Wayne‘s most iconic roles. However, he didn’t have the most enjoyable time behind-the-scenes. Wayne’s frequent collaborator, John Ford, gave him a difficult time. As a result, he was “ready for a fight” with co-star Woody Strode, who once explained the severity of the situation.

John Wayne plays it tough as Tom Doniphon in ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance finds Wayne playing a local man named Tom Doniphon in a small Western town. Senator Stoddard (James Stewart) comes into town for his funeral, which confuses the press. However, the distinguished man tells the story of how Tom helped protect him against a crew of outlaws led by Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin).

Moviegoers embraced Wayne’s signature dialogue delivery. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance includes one of Wayne’s most iconic words: “pilgrim.” He repeatedly calls Stewart’s Stoddard this, which was an insult within the time period. Nevertheless, Tom maintains Western masculinity as shown in both his narrative and the way the actor plays the part. The character is typically accompanied by his handyman, Pompey (Strode)

John Wayne was ‘ready for a fight’ with co-star Woody Strode

Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Myth chronicles the iconic actor’s career, including his work on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Ford repeatedly harrassed Wayne on the set with rude remarks that intentionally pushed his buttons. However, the actor took it out on Strode.

“This really pissed Wayne off but he would never take it out on Ford,” Strode said. “He ended up taking it out on me. We had one of the few outdoor scenes where we hightail it out to his ranch in a wagon. He’s driving and I’m kneeling in the back of the wagon. Wayne was riding those horses so fast that he couldn’t get them to stop. I reached up to grab the reins to help, and he swung and knocked me away.”

Strode continued: “When the horses finally stopped, Wayne fell out of the wagon and jumped off ready for a fight. I was in great shape in those days and Wayne was just getting a little too old and a little too out of shape for a fight. But if he’d started on me, I would have flattened him. Ford knew it, and he called out, ‘Woody, don’t hit him. We need him.’”

However, Wayne ultimately calmed down to allow them to continue filming. Nevertheless, Strode felt that “miserable” tension on the set as a result of Ford’s behavior.

“Wayne calmed down, and I don’t think it was because he was afraid of me,” Strode recalled. “Ford gave us a few hours’ break to cool off. Later Wayne said to me, ‘We gotta work together. We both gotta be professionals.’ But I blame Ford for all that trouble. He rode Wayne so hard, I thought he was going to go over the edge. What a miserable film to make.”

James Stewart has top billing on ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ultimately gives Stewart top billing over Wayne in all of the promotional materials. However, the film itself and the theatre marquees place Wayne’s name above his co-star. Some audiences contemplate which role is truly the main character of the story, as they both experience hardship and change.

However, neither actor would get an Oscar nomination for their performances in one of the greatest Western movies ever made. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance only earned a nomination for Best Costume Design, although it lost to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Nevertheless, the movie remains a vital part of cinema history.

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