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Ford and Wayne

The Hollywood Huckster told this story on many occasions, especially on rainy days.

The Teaming of director John Ford and Oscar-winning actor John ‘The Duke’ Wayne was a long an prosperous one. They actually did 21 movies together, among them classics like Stagecoach, The Searchers and The Quiet Man.

In 1948, so the Huckster claims, they went to their regular location spot, Monument Valley on the Arizona/ Utah border, to film Fort Apache. Shooting on location provided them with lot’s of opportunities to drink and play cards together.

Unfortunately, the unpredictable weather caused a number of filming delays.


Planning ahead was a nightmare, so Ford found a local Navajo medicine man and offered to pay him one hundred dollars if he could predict the weather. The Duke thought Ford was crazy.

The medicine man shut his eyes, went into a trance and then uttered, “Rain.”

Sure enough, the next day shooting was postponed because of rain. Wayne was stunned, actually amazed. Ford asked the Navajo man to repeat his efforts to forecast the next day’s weather.

“Mmm, cloudy.” And damn it if again he hadn’t perfectly predicted the weather! Cloudy, but no rain.

The Duke became even more intrigued and decided to follow the Native American fellow around, hoping to learn some other magic from this talented forecaster.

Then on the third day Duke asked his director if they were going to be shooting the next day. Ford said, “Let’s find out,” and led the actor over to the Navajo shaman.

When asked by the director, the seer shook his head sadly and said, “Cannot tell weather today.”

“Why?” asked Ford.

The Navajo tribesman pointed at John Wayne, “Big Man took my transistor radio.”

Duke broke out laughing while brandishing the radio and so did the embarrassed, Ford. The two men enjoyed each other’s company to no end. The HOLLYWOOD HUCKSTER is about a similar, devoted teaming. Check it out.