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Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?
At the age of 67, after years of Westerns and war flicks, John Wayne tried his hand at playing a police officer in McQ.
Go behind the scenes of the neo-noir below!
1. Wayne’s car was one of a kind.
In the film, the Duke drove a Brewster Green Pontiac Trans Am. This unique color was only available in 1973, and only 146 were produced. McQ drew inspiration from Bullitt and incorporated a climactic car chase to show off the vehicle at the end of the movie.
2. Wayne kept a promise.
The first John Wayne film that Colleen Dewhurst appeared in was The Cowboys. Although she didn't share any scenes with the Duke, she left a positive impression on the Western star, and he promised that they’d work together in the future. Dewhurst said, “Duke kept his word… and when McQ came up, he told John Sturges he wanted me.” Reportedly, Wayne was very tense during the shoot, except when he filmed with her. “When we did our two scenes, he was relaxed and seemed to enjoy the work. I’m so glad I managed to bring something good into Duke’s life.”
3. Wayne and McQ had this in common.
Lon McQ and the Duke both lived on a boat! While shooting the film in Seattle, Wayne enjoyed being aboard his custom yacht, Wild Goose. The Duke purchased the ship for $110 thousand and spent $3 million renovating it into a three-decker luxury residence.
4. The Duke wore a toupee.
John Wayne's hair began thinning in the 1940s, so he used hairpieces or hats to hide what was missing. While doing press for McQ, Wayne accepted an invitation from Harvard University students to a debate. When an undergraduate asked if his hair was real, he said, “This is real hair. It’s not mine, but it’s real.” Perhaps due to the Duke's nonchalant attitude, fans don't care that their Western hero didn't have an authentic mane. In fact, in 2010, a brown toupee that he wore in El Dorado sold for $1,244.