The Hateful Eight has many scenes that are painful to watch, and hard to sit through on a visceral level. The emotions run high, and the violence is rampant. This is expected from a Quentin Tarantino movie. But there is one scene in the movie that literally has stomachs turning, but not because of all the blood. As it turns out, a priceless antique was destroyed on screen. And it can never be replaced. They say pain is temporary, film is forever. We're not sure how the owners of this trashed object feel about that sentiment, though.
As it turns out, Daisy Domergue wasn't the only one shocked by John Ruth's actions when he obliterates her guitar. As it turns out, this key scene actually shows star Kurt Russell completely demolishing an irreplaceable artifact that was on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum in Pennsylvania. The broken guitar, which sits beyond repair, was 145 years old, an instrument crafted in the 1870s.
Kurt Russell didn't set out to destroy the actual guitar on purpose, and had no idea what he was doing when he shot the scene. Sound designer Mark Ulano offered more insight into the incident on SSNInsider.com. He claims that there were several copies of the Martin guitar on set. The real antique was supposed to be swapped out before Kurt Russell smashed it to bits. But that didn't happen. Says Ulano.
"Somehow that didn't get communicated to Kurt, so when you see that happen on the frame, Jennifer's reaction is genuine."
Suffice it to say, the Martin Guitar Museum is not happy about what happened. They did not know the guitar was set to be smashed on screen. And it sounds like they didn't even know how the instrument was being utilized. Museum director Dick Boak had this to say to Reverb when asked about the incident.
"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. We were informed that it was an accident on set. As a result of the incident, the company will no longer loan guitars to movies under any circumstances. We want to make sure that people know that the incident was very distressing to us. 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."
There is no word from Kurt Russell or Quentin Tarantino about this unfortunate mishap, but they probably aren't too proud of themselves. If you want to see Kurt destroy this priceless artifact for yourself, The Hateful Eight is still playing in theaters around the country. Right now, there is no video of Kurt Russell's guitar destroying capabilities on the internet.