May 9

Maureen O’Hara Shares The Reason Behind Her Broken Hand During Iconic Scene With John Wayne

Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne’s on-screen chemistry was undeniable. Their heart-tugging romance can completely sweep an audience without fail, and they just had that rare command of the screen. O’Hara and Wayne have starred together from the 1950s until the early 1970s – Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952), The Wings of Eagles (1957), McLintock! (1963), and Big Jake (1971). 

RELATED: A Glimpse Of John Wayne’s Last Moment With Maureen O’hara Days Before The Actor’s Death 

And their success as a film couple was largely credited to their great off-screen friendship. 

Though despite their affection toward each other, there are still times that they don’t see eye to eye. One of those moments happened in The Quiet Man, which was directed by John Ford, the same man who introduced them at a party. They were filming a scene, and Maureen O’Hara was so angry at John Wayne that she broke her wrist. No one really knew what exactly happened that day – only that that scene became iconic – until in 2004 when O’Hara spilled the tea in an interview with Diane Sawyer. 

According to the actress, that she was so mad at Wayne that particular day and she was hitting him for real and intending to break his jaw. And the reason behind that fierce anger was that John Wayne and director John Ford had put down sheep’s dung which was very stinky for the scene wherein Wayne would drag her on the ground. And as we could all see in the scene, she hauled off to hit him, but then he put his hand up and stopped the punch, which snapped her wrist back and caused a bone to crack. Despite the injury, O’Hara finished the filming before getting herself checked at the hospital. And then, she went back to the studio to continue working.

Wayne and Ford loved tormenting O’Hara, and in hindsight, O’Hara realized that if she only had the sense to not even react, then they would have probably quit tormenting her. 

Watch Maureen O’Hara’s interview in the video below. 


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