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John Wayne nearly bankrupted himself while filming a movie that caused the death of the actor | movies | entertainment

In 1960 legendary actor John Wayne decided he would retell the story of a landmark event for the silver screen. He chose to tell the story of the Battle of the Alamo, the real-life battle that took place in Mexico and was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. And he went to great lengths to acquire The Alamo. He and producer Robert Fellowes founded Batjak, their own production company, to bring the film to life.

Wayne worked as a producer and director for The Alamo, but declined to star in the film as well. However, the first hurdle came to him when he began to struggle to get financial support for the film.

Adamant that his vision of The Alamo would not be affected, Wayne approached United Artists for financial support for the image. The company agreed to contribute $2.5 million to its production in addition to serving as its distributor – but there was a catch.

United Artists would only provide the money to Batjac if Wayne agreed to take part in the film as well, stating that it would be a much more financial investment with his face attached to the photo. Wayne agreed and took on the role of Colonel Davy Crockett.

But Wayne didn’t have enough money to make the movie he wanted. So he had to start diving into his own pockets.

Years after the release of The Alamo, Wayne revealed that he invested more than $1.5 million of his money in the movie.

$1.5 million is a lot of money today, but in 1960, it was an extraordinary amount of cash (the equivalent of roughly $9 million). But Wayne firmly believed that the Alamo was such a good investment that he would spare no expense.

In the end, he began to despair.

Before long, he had no choice but to take out second mortgages on his homes to raise the film’s financing. The American star also agreed to use his cars as collateral for film loans.

In the end, the Alamo had a budget of $12 million – much of it funded by Wayne himself.

But the star’s problems did not stop there.

Read more: Charlton Heston refused to work with John Wayne over political views

Frankie Avalon was “intimidated” by numerous rattlesnakes on set, which was filmed in the deserts of Texas.

One of the actors even broke a bone in front of the camera while filming.

Lawrence Harvey, who played Colonel Travis, fired a cannon to fire but forgot to recoil the gun. The cannon flipped over Harvey’s leg, breaking it completely. But the actor did not scream or make any sudden movements.

Harvey didn’t fall to the ground until Wayne called him “cut” and started writhing in pain. After this bone-shattering event, Wayne praised the star’s professionalism.

Fortunately, after all these financial and logistical hardships, Wayne’s movie was a huge success.

The Alamo grossed a staggering $20 million at the box office, and even earned an impressive nomination for Best Picture at the 1961 Academy Awards.

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