Rock Hudson gained John Wayne’s respect with cheeky prank on The Undefeated set | Films | Entertainment
Back in 1968, after shooting his Oscar-winning performance as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, John Wayne made another Western with Rock Hudson.
The Undefeated followed the French Imperial intervention in Mexico during the 1860s and was loosely based on the escape of a real Confederate general south of the US border after the American Civil War.
James Arness originally starred opposite Colonel Duke John Henry Thomas as Colonel James Langon.
But when the 6’7 Gunsmoke star wasn’t available, Wayne decided to go with another tall actress by helping to cast Hudson.
On his 98th birthday last week, John Wayne’s estate quoted him: “John Wayne was a Hollywood legend then, and I was on screen with him. The man is an angel. He saved my life back then when no other filmmaker wanted to know me.”
Co-star Marc Christian’s closeted boyfriend, who was not allowed on the three-month location shoot, said that Duke would choose Hudson during filming before the two were friends.
According to Mark Griffin’s biography of Hudson, All that Heaven Allows, Wayne would “direct” his co-star, constantly telling him what to do on camera.
In response, Hudson would do the same goal, to which Duke responded with a pointed finger: “I like you”.
As a result, Wayne and Hudson became friends and often play chess and bridge together.
Duke struggled a lot with injuries on the set of The Undefeated but was driven hard through the pain to finish the film for the fans.
In a post marking the 54th anniversary of The Undefeated last month, Wayne’s estate wrote: “During filming, John Wayne fell from his horse and broke three ribs. He could not work for almost two weeks.
“Then he tore a ligament in his shoulder and couldn’t use one arm at all. Director Andrew V McLaglen could only film it from an angle for the rest of the picture.
“The Duke’s only concern in the world was the disappointment of his fans, despite the fact that he was in terrible pain.”
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