John Wayne’s Red River created an attack between Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes

Hughes’ attorney, Lloyd Wright, contacted Edward Small, a major investor in “Red River,” to arrange for the eccentric industrialist to screen the controversial footage. To be sure, Hughes dug into his objections and threatened an injunction that would delay the film’s planned September 1, 1948 release indefinitely.

Small, who had worked with Hughes before, knew the businessman wouldn’t back down until he found his way, so he arranged a wits between the controversial sides. Hughes and the Hawks met at one of the former aircraft factories in Inglewood, California. According to Scott Eyman’s “John Wayne: Life and Legend,” the two fought fiercely over a potential cure. This forces Small to play with Hughes’ vanity:

“”Both men were tall and thin, and I felt like the arbiter between two cartoon redwoods,” recalls Small. Finally, Small asked Hughes to edit the sequence to suggest what Hawks, Feldman and Small should do. Hughes did a few cuts, removing about 24 seconds, including a shot where Dunson’s bullet wrinkled Matt’s cheek, and also had nine words removed from his dialogue. Wayne: “Draw. Go on, draw. So, I’ll do it for you.” As Small realized, “If I had made the same small changes, he probably wouldn’t have accepted them.” John Wayne’s Red River created an attack between Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes

Fry Electronics Team

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