John Wayne chastised JFK supporters and replaced terminally ill director on set

John Wayne’s first movie as director was 1960’s The Alamo, but he was technically the uncredited one a year later on another Western.

Duke starred in The Comancheros as Captain Jake Cutter in the post-Civil War Western, that at one point was going to co-star Charlton Heston.

During filming in Utah, Michael Curtiz, who famously directed Casablanca, had become seriously ill for much of the shoot.

So, on the days that he wasn’t well enough to work, Wayne would step in and direct the movie himself.

Duke, who was famously a political conservative, also wouldn’t put up with crew members supporting John F Kennedy on set.

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On the first day of shooting on The Comancheros, Wayne had a stand-off with the third assistant director Tom Mankiewicz.

It turns out the crew member was wearing a button supporting the new US President John F Kennedy.

Duke, who had campaigned for Former Vice President Richard Nixon in the 1960 election and blamed JFK for losing the Bay of Pigs invasion, told him sternly: “I’d take that button off if I were you. We don’t advertise socialists on my set.”

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This wasn’t the only time Wayne stood in for an ill director, as he’d end up doing the same for George Sherman – who produced The Comancheros – on 1971’s Big Jake.

And yet despite having the right to a co-director credit on both movies, Duke refused both times.

Curtiz died just six months after the release of The Comancheros from terminal cancer on April 10, 1962.

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