July 7, 2022


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Rio Lobo: John Wayne ‘utterly exhausted’ and director ‘punched me’ – Jennifer O’Neill

John Wayne had already remade 1959’s Rio Bravo, a movie a few sheriff defending his workplace from outlaws, in 1966’s El Dorado. But Howard Hawks, who directed each of these movies, wished to make it a 3rd time in 1970’s Rio Lobo. When the filmmaker first approached Duke concerning the concept, the Hollywood star replied: “Do I get to play the drunk this time?”

Initially set to be shot in Durango, Mexico for $5 million, Rio Lobo was filmed for an additional $1 million at Previous Tucson, Arizona, since 1971’s Lawman was already taking pictures south of the border.

Initially, Hawks wished EL Dorado star Robert Mitchem to reprise his drunken sheriff, however he’d retired. Nonetheless, he would go to the set since his son Christopher had a job that the director needed to struggle the studio to be included.

At this level in his profession, the 62-year-old Wayne was sick having had a cancerous lung eliminated only a few years earlier.

The star, who was 13 years older than Jack Elam’s Previous Man character, struggled to get on and off his horse and was nonetheless recovering from having torn a ligament in his shoulder when taking pictures 1969’s The Undefeated.

Wayne’s struggle scene with Victor French needed to be filmed very rigorously, with many of the pictures that had been used being together with his double. A lot of the scrap befell off-camera, with solely sounds of the scuffling being heard.

His Rio Lobo co-star Jennifer O’Neill remembered how Duke struggled to hold her up the steps.

In an interview within the video under, she mentioned: “He grew to become simply utterly exhausted, he actually struggled by way of it.”

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But regardless of his struggling, the 21-year-old remembered Wayne being “the nicest man on the planet”, who went out of his approach to assist younger actors making an attempt to enhance their performances. Nevertheless, she couldn’t say the identical for director Hawks.

Hawks would blame Rio Lobo’s important and business failure on anybody however himself, saying “I didn’t assume it was any good”.

The director, who injured himself and wanted 4 stitches whereas filming the railway scene, felt that at 62-years-old Wayne was too outdated to hold the film – with critics saying the identical of their opinions. He went on to say that O’Neill was inexperienced and tough to work with too.

Nevertheless, she mentioned that when the filmmaker first spoke to her about her function as Shasta, he walked straight as much as the actress and punched her within the intestine, telling the 21-year-old that her voice was approach too excessive.

Hawks advised her to exit into the woods and simply sit there and scream at timber in order that her vocal cords can be rougher for the half. O’Neill mentioned Hawks’ punch damage her afire the director actually thumped her with intent.

Throughout a break from filming on the Rio Lobo shoot, Wayne headed again to Hollywood to gather his first and solely Finest Actor Oscar after starring as Rooster Cogburn in 1969’s True Grit.

In response to Randy Roberts’ John Wayne: American: “[Duke] stepped out, laughed uproariously at first, after which settled down right into a teary-eyed smile. Everyone, horses included, was sporting an eye fixed patch, and the gang was clapping and whistling congratulations to the most effective actor on the planet.”

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Little question this was a particular second for the star, who except for his personal well being issues misplaced his mom through the filming after which his brother Robert E Morrison only a month after the wrap.