The Clint Eastwood movie John Wayne hated

Hollywood has been an institution of American cinema for generations, producing some of the country’s greatest artists and creative minds, including actors Marlon Brando and Leonardo DiCaprio, and directors Steven Spielberg and John Ford. But, there are some figures that tower over the rest, representing far more than their mere characters suggest, with the likes of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne being icons of American values throughout the 20th century.
It’s not hard to see why this was a reality either, with both Eastwood and Wayne being responsible for the popularisation of America’s most patriotic genre, the western. Speaking of the beauty, prosperity and liberation of the old American west, such movies were pioneered by the likes of Ford, Howard Hawks and Sam Peckinpah. They often supported the ideals that the country had fostered in myth and legend for generations.
Starting his career way back in 1926, Wayne’s first western role came in 1930 with the release of The Big Trail, a role that would kickstart an iconic career that would make him an undisputed Hollywood icon. Later in the century, Eastwood would enter the scene, starring in The First Traveling Saleslady in 1956, where he would form a friendly rivalry with Wayne.
Remarkably, despite the fan bases of both actors, the pair never starred in a movie together, but this was not from a lack of trying.
In 1973, Eastwood sent Wayne a script for a new project we wanted to put together. Named The Hostiles, the film told the story of a young man who won half a ranch, with the other portion owned by an older cowboy. Initially hostile towards each other, the pair find that they have to team up and fight for their land when attackers vie for control of it.
However, Wayne wasn’t too keen on the script when Eastwood sent it over, with the actor replying with a personal letter that outlined exactly why he didn’t like it, as well as some rather harsh criticisms of the 1973 film High Plains Drifter. 
Persevering with his plan, Eastwood sent one last revised screenplay for The Hostiles to Wayne, only for Wayne to exclaim, “this piece of shit again,” tossing the script overboard whilst out sailing. The account is detailed in the John Wayne biography Duke, a Love Story,  with the star of the 1956 film The Searchers, adding: “This kind of stuff is all they know how to write these days … someone like me and Eastwood ride into town, know everything, act the big guys, and everyone else is a bunch of idiots”.
It seems that Eastwood was most offended by his thoughts towards High Plains Drifter, however, stating in John Wayne: The Life and Legend, “John Wayne once wrote me a letter saying he didn’t like High Plains Drifter. He said it wasn’t really about the people who pioneered the west. I realised that there’s two different generations, and he wouldn’t understand what I was doing”.
Continuing, he added: “High Plains Drifter was meant to be a fable: it wasn’t meant to show the hours of pioneering drudgery. It wasn’t supposed to be anything about settling the West”.
So, as a result of Wayne’s own dislike of the movie, The Hostiles never saw the light of day.

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