John Wayne Needed to Be ‘Bullied’ to Get a Good Performance out of Him

John Wayne‘s critics often pointed out that his style of performance wasn’t actually performing, however him merely taking part in himself. Nevertheless, that isn’t to say that he didn’t earn reward for films, such because the Oscar-winning True Grit. Wayne’s The Horse Troopers co-star William Holden stated that the actor was “bullied” to get a good efficiency out of him.

‘The Horse Soldiers’ star John Wayne had points to cope with on the set

John Wayne as Col. John Marlowe | ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

The Horse Soldiers set had non-performance issues for Wayne. Michael Munn’s John Wayne: The Man Behind the Delusion explored the difficulties he encountered all through manufacturing. His spouse, Pilar, developed a dependence on sleeping capsules, so Wayne had his thoughts on private issues exterior of his efficiency.

“It was a difficult picture to make all round,” director of photographer William H. Clothier stated. “Pilar had become addicted to sleeping pills and Duke insisted she join him on location so he could keep an eye on her. Before they left home, she had run out of pills and after a day without them she got terrible withdrawal symptoms.”

Clothier continued: “Her doctor wanted to put her in a private sanatorium for people with drink and drug problems. But Duke wanted her in Louisiana and said he’d be with her as much as he could. So she arrived in Alexandria where we were based with little Aissa and a couple of maids.”

John Ford had to ‘bully’ John Wayne to get a good efficiency from him

Munn wrote that it was Holden’s first time working with director John Ford, who was battling alcoholism, and Holden swore to work with him ever once more. The actor recalled Ford’s merciless habits towards Wayne for the sake of a higher efficiency from him. Nevertheless, it initially began with the filmmaker telling the actors that they aren’t allowed to have any alcohol.

“I liked Duke a lot,” Holden stated. “I wasn’t sure how we’d get on, but he was a really nice guy. But I was pretty disgusted with the way Ford treated him. Ford would yell at him and treat him like he was a newcomer. I said to Duke, ‘Why do you let that old bastard treat you like that?’ He said, ‘Aw, Bill, that’s just his way of making sure I give him a good performance.’”

Holden continued: “I said, ‘Duke, you’ve been at this longer than me. You got nominated for an Oscar, didn’t you?’ He said, ‘Yeah!’ I said, ‘And what film was that for?’ Of course I knew the answer. Sands of Iwo Jima. I said to Duke, ‘Did Ford get a good performance out of you for that?’ He said, ‘Ford didn’t direct Iwo Jima.’ I said, ‘That’s what I mean.’ But Duke would just do anything for Ford, and I admired his loyalty.”

William Holden would by no means enable John Ford to deal with him the identical method

Holden would by no means enable Ford to give him the identical therapy that he gave Wayne for the sake of efficiency. Nevertheless, he was rather more outspoken concerning his emotions towards the filmmaker.

“But I wasn’t having Ford talk to me that way,” Holden stated, in accordance to Munn. “I told him [and] said, ‘Jack, I’ll sweat blood to give you a good performance, but if you ever talk to me that way you talk to Duke, I’ll walk off and I won’t come back.’ Ford said, ‘Oh Bill, I don’t need to force a good performance out of you. I saw Sunset Boulevard. You’re twice the actor Duke is. He needs me to bully him.’”

Holden continued: “I couldn’t believe it. I never worked for Ford again. I never worked with Duke again, either, but that’s just because nothing came along that suited us both.”

Holden snuck Wayne away from Ford for a entire day by scheduling a tooth cleansing appointment, the place they day drank afterward.

Clothier recalled: “When Ford found out, he was furious. He went into one of the worst tantrums I’ve ever seen. You’d think Duke had broken all Ten Commandments. Ford would go sneaking into Duke’s room looking for bottles.”

How to get assist: Within the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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