John Ford handwritten letter to John Wayne

SKU: PT1347

Sale price£9,995
In stock


  • A John Ford handwritten letter to John Wayne
  • Dated circa 1958, concerning Orson Welles and Ford's film The Last Hurrah

John Ford is one of the most celebrated and influential directors in Hollywood history.

He directed more than 140 films, winning a record four Best Director Academy Awards.

Ford directed John Wayne in 14 films, including Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the pair were close friends for more than 30 years.

A John Ford handwritten letter in pencil, on both sides of three sheets of Batjac Productions stationery (the production company established by John Wayne in 1952).

Pages measure 11" x 8 1/2" and are in good condition.

Letter is dated circa 1958, as it concerns John Ford's film The Last Hurrah released that same year.

Ford tells Wayne the story of how another actor attempted to sabotage Orson Welles' casting in the film by sending the producers information on his alleged communist activities.

It reads in part:

"...we made tentative arrangement with Orson Wells -- an actor of repute & some disrepute -- to play the part of Skeffington...The following morning Mr Cohn & Mr. Kahane received on their desks a pile of documents about Welles' Communistic or subversive activities (alleged). These were sent by an actor who had said all over town that he was to play the part -- a Ward Bond."

Ford continues "you also know my integrity in making films & also my ideas of justice -- you are not guilty until proven so -- (and the jury is not necessarily Ward Bond)."

Ford ends his letter complaining that Welles cancelled his casting meeting because "the dear boy had a slight fever, upset, etc. So fuck him. Coach. Fuck Bond, too.”

Ford signs off as “Coach”, the nickname John Wayne affectionately called him in private.


A humorous letter with inside movie gossip, written by a legendary director to his equally legendary leading man.



A superb and unique item from the Golden Age of Hollywood.



Provenence: Heritage Auctions.

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