"In Cheyenne Autumn there's a scene
with Richard Widmark in a tent. I'm getting out of the army after 40 years.
Widmark's chasing Indians out of
Dakota, or wherever we are, and I don't like it. Ford takes us into his
dressing room and he works with us for
about two hours. He tells Widmark, 'Not so much this. And, Mike, you're
too much that.' The first shot is a long shot of us two at the table. One
take! 'Perfect! Print it.' Next we get a closeup of Widmark. The camera
is over my shoulder. We're doing the same scene over again. Same thing we
did in the long shot. One take again. Next: reverse on Mazurki. One shot.
Three takes for a scene that would ordinarily require 35 to 40
that're shot in ten days, the director says, 'Do you know your dialogue?'
'Yessir.' 'OK, let's shoot it. Print it.' He doesn't care whether you got
your finger up your nose, up your ass, or what. They're fightin' time.
They got two weeks to finish the picture. Ten days, twelve days. They're
not gonna wait to see if your thoughts are the same as the script. But who
cares?" (Mike is more proud of his career in the ring than on the screen.
He will unflinchingly play a loser in films but he would never throw a
wrestling match. Besides, since wrestling was what led to his motion
picture success in the first place, he remains faithful. Making movies is
a sideline to Mike.)