“John Houston and I were doing an ad for whisky with Victor Skrebneski. I asked Huston when was the last time he had seen John Ford. “I haven’t seen him in 20 years” he responded. So we decided to visit Mr. Ford in Palm Springs and take Victor with us. After talking for a while, I told Mr. Ford that I had gotten permission from his wife to get him into his wheelchair so we could take a photograph together. Mr. Ford replied, “Kid, you know what your problem is? You’ve got no sense of drama — because if you had a sense of drama you’d get in bed with me.”
Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper, John Ford & John Huston in bed.
By Viktor Skrebneski, 13 September 1971, Palm Springs, California.

| the quiet man | john ford | 1952 |

| stagecoach | john ford | 1939 |

@ cinematek | brussels |

| john ford | young mr lincoln | 1939 |

" There is only one fitting way to end our discussion of The Quiet Man, and that’s with a whisper. No matter what part of the world I’m in, the question I am always asked is: “What did you whisper into John Wayne’s ear at the end of The Quiet Man? It was John Ford’s idea; it was the ending he wanted. I was told by Mr. Ford exactly what I was to say. At first I refused. I said, “No, I can’t. I can’t say that to Duke.” But Mr. Ford wanted a very shocked reaction from Duke, and he said, “I’m telling you, you are to say it.”

I had no choice, and so I agreed, but with a catch: “I’ll say it on one condition; that it is never ever repeated or revealed to anyone.” So we made a deal. After the scene was over, we told Duke about our agreement and the three of us made a pact. There are those who claim that they were told and know what I said. They don’t and are lying. John Ford took it to his grave, so did Duke and the answer will die with me.

Curiosity about the whisper has become a great part of the Quiet Man legend. I have no doubt that as long as the film endures, so will the speculation. The Quiet Man meant so much to John Ford, John Wayne, and myself. I know it was their favorite picture too. It bonded us as artists and friends in a way that happens only but once in a career. That little piece of The Quiet Man belongs to just us, and so I hope you’ll understand as I answer: I’ll never tell.”

Maureen O’Hara