Thursday, November 03, 2005

Powers loved McLintock

Actress Stefanie Powers says her happiest working experience on a movie came in 1963 when she played John Wayne's daughter in the comic western McLintock.

She also says she will never forget the close chemistry between Wayne and his favorite leading lady, Maureen O'Hara, and reveals that it influenced the rapport she later established with Robert Wagner for their hit television series, Hart To Hart.

Powers makes her comments in a fascinating interview contained in the new special DVD edition of McLintock just released by Paramount Home Entertainment. O'Hara, now 85, also discusses her long friendship with Wayne and her role in this film as cattle Baron George Washington McLintock's estranged and domineering wife.

The movie, a raucous frontier reworking of Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew, is an anachronism by current standards -- breaking the rules of political correctness right and left. Indeed its screenwriter James Edward Grant once famously commented: "All you gotta have in a John Wayne picture is a hoity-toity dame with big tits that Duke can throw over his knee and spank, and a collection of jerks he can smash in the face every five minutes...."

But O'Hara makes no apologies about the spanking scene or the sequence where she is covered in mud. She makes it clear that she adored Wayne.

McLintock has never looked its best in previous DVD and VHS releases because of bad transfers. This time it looks excellent. It's also very good value, considering the special features, which include interviews with Powers and O'Hara, a biography of the Duke's producer son, Michael Wayne, and commentary featuring the voices of critic Leonard Maltin and film historian Frank Thompson.

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