Daisy Domergue wasn’t the only person horrified when John Ruth smashed her guitar in The Hateful Eight. As it turns out, Kurt Russell was actually destroying an irreplaceable artifact on loan from the Martin Guitar Museum in Pennsylvania.
The destroyed Martin guitar was a 145-year-old instrument from the 1870s.
According to the film’s sound designer Mark Ulano, in an interview with SSNInsider.com, the crew had several copies of the Martin guitar, and the actual was to be switched out for a copy before the smashing scene. “Somehow that didn’t get communicated to Kurt, so when you see that happen on the frame, Jennifer’s reaction is genuine,” Ulano said.
“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,” museum director Dick Boak told Reverb. “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,” continued Boak. “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.”