American actors James Stewart (1908 - 1997, left ) and John Wayne (1907 - 1979, right) with director John Ford (1894 - 1973) on the set of  'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance', 1962. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Saving John Ford's Feelings On Set Of The Alamo Would Come Back To Bite John Wayne
When a first-time filmmaker produces a flop, many involved often avoid taking their share of the blame for the movie’s failure. However, in an unexpected departure from this norm, John Wayne spent the last nineteen years of his life fighting to assert authorship of the poorly reviewed and financially unsuccessful “The Alamo.”
Wayne created his production studio, called Batjac, after Republic Pictures was reluctant to give a sizable-enough budget to realize the actor’s passion project. Wayne faced problems, though, when his mentor, John Ford, came to observe a portion of the shooting and reportedly tried to seize control of production from Wayne.
Wayne asked Ford to shoot second-unit footage of river crossings to avoid a fight, later saying, “I am not going to let him feel rejected. I’d rather spend a million dollars than hurt his feelings.” When the film was released, critics attributed the praise-worthy climactic set pieces to Ford or second-unit director Cliff Lyons instead of giving due credit to Wayne.