John Wayne Once Suffered 3 Broken Ribs Filming a Movie: Here’s What Happened
In many of his movies, John Wayne appears to be invincible. He’s a tough and unflinching cowboy who seems to make it out of any shoot-out alive. However, while filming his movie, The Undefeated, John Wayne attempted a stunt that left him with three broken ribs. Despite his injury, Wayne was able to finish shooting the movie, only adding to his legend.
John Wayne had attempted his own stunts before
John Wayne was in a lot of movies that required some impressive stunts. Even though the actor often had a stunt double perform these dangerous feats, there were times when Wayne would perform his own stunts. An example of this is during the filming for McLintock!
According to John’s son and the film’s producer, Michael, the actor wanted to perform one stunt simply because it looked fun. The stunt required John to jump from a hayloft into a pile of hay below. John was able to perform this stunt, despite the studio being against the idea, as he was one of the brightest stars in Hollywood. The studio also shot a version of this scene with a stunt double in case it went wrong.
John Wayne injured himself while filming the movie ‘The Undefeated’
The Undefeated is a John Wayne western movie released in 1969. According to countrymusicfamily.com, the actor fell off his horse on set. He broke three ribs and tore a ligament in his shoulder, leaving his left arm immobile. Wayne only took two weeks off from work because his only worry was disappointing his fans. He finished filming The Undefeated, despite being in terrible pain.
Wayne’s injury didn’t have too much of an impact on the filming of The Undefeated. The one way it impacted the film is that the director, Andrew V. McLaglen, had to film John at an angle to hide his injury. The Undefeated is one of two movies released starring John Wayne in 1969. The second film was True Grit, which won Wayne an Academy Award for his performance in the film.
‘The Undefeated’ is not considered one of Wayne’s best movies
True Grit is widely considered the better of the two John Wayne movies released in 1969. The Undefeated centers around the French imperial intervention in Mexico during the 1860s, shortly after the American Civil War. It is loosely based on Confederate States Army General Joseph Orville Shelby’s escape to Mexico after the American Civil War and his attempt to join Maximillian’s Imperial Mexican Forces.
John Wayne plays Union Army Colonel John Henry Thomas, who joins forces with Confederate Colonel James Langdon (Rock Hudson) against opposing forces. The Undefeated also stars Tony Aguilar, Roman Gabriel, Marian McCargo, Lee Meriwether, Melissa Newman, and Merlin Olsen.
The movie was not a critical success and underperformed at the box office. According to Fox Records, the movie needed to bring in $12.4 million in rentals, but it only made $8.7 million, leading to a loss for the studio. The Undefeated currently holds a 44% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.