Back in 1963, John Wayne starred in a Western comedy loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Duke played an ageing rancher called George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man facing a number of issues.
High-ranking government officials, his own sons and local Native Americans all want a piece of his huge farmstead.
Meanwhile, his wife (played by regular collaborator Maureen O’Hara) who separated from him two years prior, is back on the scene demanding custody of their daughter.
McLintock! celebrates its 60th anniversary this week, as celebrated by the John Wayne estate on Instagram.
A recent post read: “Did you know? Although often seen as simply a knockabout comedy, John Wayne also intended the film to be a statement on his disapproval of the negative representation of Native Americans in previous westerns he had no creative-control over, and his disapproval of wife-beating and marital abuse from either spouse.”
A film of its time, McLintock famously has a scene, as captured on its poster, of Wayne’s George publicly spanking his wife played by O’Hara.
According to his co-star’s autobiography, this scene was “completely authentic” with Duke carrying it out with “such gusto”, that she “had bruises for a week.”
Adding to the satire, Wayne had the weak Governor be named Cuthbert H Humphery. This was intended to be a parody of the liberal Senator Hubert H Humphrey who the conservative Duke couldn’t stand.
McLintock and a selection of other John Wayne movies are available to stream for free on the official John Wayne YouTube Channel – but only if you’re in the USA.