Patrick Wayne on Making 'The Searchers' With His Father

“He was a nasty, nasty, ornery character throughout about ninety-seven percent of the film, and only redeems his character at the end when he scoops the girl up in his arms and takes her back to her family, which in real life didn’t happen.” So recalls Patrick Wayne, Duke Wayne’s second son, about The Searchers. He made the remarks during a luncheon at the Autry Museum of the American West back in 2014. Patrick co-starred in numerous movies with his dad, including Big Jake, McLintock!, and The Comancheros, but his memories of the making of The Searchers are clearly special to him. “His character [in The Searchers] ended when the director said cut,” Patrick remembered. “He certainly wasn’t like that. In fact he wasn’t like any of his characters. He was a much richer person—and thank God for that!”

Patrick Wayne, c. 1963. Photo: Wikipedia

The younger Wayne goes on to discuss some of those other films he made, what it was like to work with director John Ford, and his father’s continuing popularity. Take 15 minutes out of your busy day and enjoy.

And don’t fast-forward through the introductory recollections by television writer-producer Rob Word. His memories are a delight as he describes a family trip to Monument Valley during the filming of The Searchers. His photos from that trip—including one with the seven-year-old Word posing with Duke himself—will make any fan of John Wayne jealous of the experience.

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