It was produced by his own Wayne/Fellows Productions, [co-founded] just the year prior by Wayne. And James Edward Grant, who had already written several Wayne features and had a particular flair for writing classic John Wayne dialogue, penned the screenplay. All told, one gets the sense that everything about this exemplary return to the genre was a carefully conscious decision by the iconic American star. Hondo is a definitive Western. Moreover, it's a definitive John Wayne Western.
There’s humor. Wayne was very funny, in general, and he’s relaxed about it, no pushing, it comes naturally. When he picked up Angie’s kid and threw him in the river to teach him how to swim, the audience erupted into laughter. Wayne does it in one continuous movement, swinging the kid back like a baseball bat and then letting him fly into the air.