The C.F. Martin Company said it will not loan its rare instruments to movie productions in the future after a rare guitar was destroyed during the making of “The Hateful Eight” film.
The six-string guitar, which was created in the 1870s, was loaned to the production from the company’s museum.
In the film, prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) strums on the guitar in Minnie’s Haberdashery, only for John Ruth (Kurt Russell) to grab it from her and smash it on a beam.
Producers told the company that the guitar was destroyed in an accident, but a company official said it seems the destruction was written into the script.
“We were informed that it was an accident on set. We assumed that a scaffolding or something fell on it. We understand that things happen, but at the same time we can’t take this lightly,” Dick Boak, director of the museum, told the Independent.
“All this about the guitar being smashed being written into the script and that somebody just didn’t tell the actor, this is all new information to us. We didn’t know anything about the script or Kurt Russell not being told that it was a priceless, irreplaceable artifact from the Martin Museum.”
Mark Ulano, sound mixer for the movie, said during a SSN Insider panel that the destruction was written into the script, but that the guitar was supposed to be switched out for a double before it was smashed.
“The guitar was a loaner from the Martin Guitar Museum and there were six doubles made. The guitar was from the 1870’s and was priceless. What was supposed to happen was we were supposed to go up to that point, cut, and trade guitars and smash the double. Well, somehow that didn’t get communicated to Kurt, so when you see that happen on the frame, Jennifer’s reaction is genuine,” he said.
“Kurt shattered the antique guitar and everyone was pretty freaked out. Tarantino was in a corner of the room with a funny curl on his lips, because he got something out of it with the performance.”
But he also claimed that museum officials weren’t concerned, and that they only asked two questions after the incident. “‘Do you need another one and can we please have all the pieces to display in our museum?'”
Boak, though, said the incident has forced the company not to loan instruments to any productions in the future.
“We can’t believe that it happened. I don’t think anything can really remedy this. We’ve been remunerated for the insurance value, but it’s not about the money. It’s about the preservation of American musical history and heritage,” he said.
“As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances.”