John Wayne Once Embarrassed Himself so His Mentor Could Save Face

John Wayne didn’t simply begin out as John Wayne. He had a mentor in director John Ford, who had directed Wayne in 14 motion pictures, together with The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. The on display robust man was a bit extra humble in actual life, and prepared to look the idiot to make another person look higher as he did for Ford.

L-R: John Wayne and John Ford | Bettmann/Getty Photos

Paramount House Leisure is releasing The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance on 4K UHD on Might 17. Showbiz Cheat Sheet bought an early copy. Once we reviewed the bonus options, we found this gem of a narrative about Wayne and Ford.

John Wayne’s mentor John Ford was close to the top of his profession

John Ford was a lot older than John Wayne. Ford was born in 1894 and has credit courting again to 1917. Wayne was born in 1907, nevertheless it was Ford’s Stagecoach that was his breakthrough. By the point they made the 1962 Man Who Shot Liberty Valance collectively, Ford was struggling a bit. Ford biographer Scott Eyman informed the story.

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“During the production of Liberty Valance, Wayne was going to be given an award and he asked Ford to present it to him,” Eyman mentioned. “Ford was announced to go introduce Wayne and he came up a couple steps to the dais and stumbled over one of the steps and slid right back down the dais. He recovered. He didn’t actually fall down, he got ahold of himself and went back up the steps and introduced Wayne.”

John Wayne took one for his mentor

Wayne noticed Ford’s stumble and got here up with a plan to make it appear to be Ford meant to do this. It solely meant that Wayne would take the identical stumble. 

“As Wayne came up the steps to the dais, he also stumbled over the same step on purpose, slid all the way back down,” Eyman mentioned. “The audience laughed thinking it was a setup between the two men. Then he came right back up and accepted the award.”

A possible embarrassment become a crowd-pleaser

By the point they had been filming The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance collectively, Ford and Wayne had been collaborators for 23 years starting with 1939’s Stagecoach. Ford would proceed to direct till 1966. He died in 1973 and had yet one more documentary launch in 1973. Wayne had one other prolific decade forward of him and would make his final film, The Shootist, in 1976 earlier than his demise in 1979. Eyman mentioned Wayne made up the stumbling bit that evening simply to make Ford look higher.

“Actually, it hadn’t been a setup,” Eyman mentioned. “Wayne had done it to make it look like a setup so it wouldn’t look like Jack, his mentor, his father figure, the man he loved more than anybody on Earth, he didn’t want him to look bad in front of an audience.”

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