Martin told a reporter for Time: “Someone else would have laid around, feeling sorry for himself, for a year. But Duke, he just doesn’t know how to be sick. He’s recuperating the hard way. He’s two loud-speaking guys in one. Me, when people see me, they sometimes say, ‘Oh, there goes Perry Como.’ But there’s only one John Wayne, and nobody makes any mistakes about that”.
Hathaway made sure to reshoot scenes that had too much of Wayne’s gut on display, while his makeup man kept on top of things. This included redoing the star’s eyes, continuing to smear Nivea cream over his double chin and styling his hairpiece. Additionally, Duke’s trainer Ralph Volkie would rub the star’s aching muscles with Absorbine Jr pain relief which made the set smell. Nevertheless, it all paid off and the director’s wish for America to see John Wayne as they had known him worked a treat.
However, during filming Duke had to rely on an oxygen tank on set, which was particularly needed since their filming location of Durango, Mexico was 6000 ft above sea level. At one point he “exploded in rage” after a photograph of him using it was taken by Gene Sysco from The Globe.
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