On the 100th anniversary of John Wayne’s birth The Spank Statement salutes The Duke:
He was respectful of women, except in The Quiet Man and Mclintock!, but that’s the humour of it. Women saw him as the manly man – the epitome of what manhood should be.
Gretchen Wayne pays a fitting tribute to her father-in-law in a recent interview.
The critics on Mclintock!:
“It reflects the value that it’s okay to dominate women, to treat them like children…to humiliate them, but it’s all done with a kind of a wink.”
“I personally find it very arousing. It comes from a place of appreciating that anger and sexuality come from the same base. There’s always going to be… a power struggle, and I think that there’s something really wonderful about honoring [that] during foreplay.”
“When viewed through modern sensibilities, it is hard not to see this movie as anything other than the ultimate male control fantasy.”
Greatest Scene Ever?
The entire film centers on the spanking given to Maureen O’Hara as G.W. Mclintock and his firebrand wife battle through their tempestuous relationship. Surely, in terms of production values and epic scale, this is the greatest spanking scene ever filmed.
The build up, as Wayne relentlessly stalks O’ Hara through the town, until eventually she has run out of delaying tactics and hiding places, is as erotically charged as any sex scene in the movies. During the chase O’ Hara gets stripped to her underwear and dunked in water. Finally, with the entire town looking on, G.W. drags his wife into a barn for her comeuppance.
The spanking begins with an upswell of background music. As the wallops commence, the camera cuts to the delighted faces of the witnesses, who almost seem to be in the throes of religious ecstasy.
The Coal Shovel Reassessed :
But what about that coal shovel? I know many people disapprove of the implement with a passion.
During the spanking, there are comic ‘boings’ which can be heard over the music. I suppose the director, John Ford, wanted the spanking to have a cartoon feel to it, and the shovel was chosen more for the comic effect than realism. Personally, I say yes to the implement, if only for it’s very uniqueness. After all, who else has been spanked with a coal scuttle – either before or since?
Apart from Stefanie Powers of course!
There are lots of stars, and they come and go. But as a lifelong fan: there’s only one John Wayne. They say that the Western died with Wayne. You could say the same about spanking scenes.