In the 1953 Western Hondo , John Wayne portrayed the role of Army dispatch rider Hondo Lane. The plot entails Hondo finding a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches. Naturally, he feels compelled to become their protector.
The movie stars Geraldine Page as Angie Lowe and James Arness (best known to all of us as Marshal Dillon) as an Army Indian Scout.
Buy the Full Screen DVD on Amazon: Hondo.
Did You Know?
- Pal, the dog that played Sam, was the son of the one and only Lassie.
- Katharine Hepburn was originally planned to star in the role of Angie. However, as the script continued to come together, the female role grew smaller – soon becoming one that wouldn’t be suitable for a star of Hepburn’s stature.
- Katharine Hepburn and John Wayne would finally become co-stars more than twenty years later in Rooster Cogburn (1975).
- Apparently the very liberal and “left wing” Geraldine Page did not see eye-to-eye, politically, with her right-wing co-stars John Wayne, Ward Bond, James Arness and John Farrow.
- After viewing the finished film at a private screening, John Wayne jokingly said, “I’ll be damned if I’m not the stuff men are made of!”
- Hondo was the film debut for the Broadway actress Geraldine Page.
- Geraldine Page was offered the role of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), but she turned it down. Louise Fletcher, who then took the role, went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for the performance.
- Very often in his career, the 6’7″ James Arness was surrounded by co-stars standing on apple boxes. Other times, he actually had to stand in a ditch so everyone would fit in one shot!
- James Arness got the role of Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke in 1955 after John Wayne suggested it. Although rumor has it that Wayne turned down the role, he was never offered the role.
- Made four movies with his close friend John Wayne during the 1950s.