Ronald D. Moore commented: "When I first was working on ["It's Only a Paper Moon"] in my first draft I used clips from John Wayne movies. I was having Nog watch several different John Wayne movies over the course of the show. He and Vic were going to talk about them. I was trying to reach for some things about bravery and heroism, and fiction and reality, and what it meant to be a hero on the screen, and what it meant to be a hero in real life. Vic was going to talk about Wayne’s dichotomy, that he was this great war hero on film, from a guy that never served a day in uniform. Did that matter? Did it speak to the movies? It was interesting stuff that I really liked, and we never worked it out in the teleplay because getting the clips to John Wayne films were extremely difficult, and very expensive." (Cinefantastique, Volume 29 Number 6/7)
In 1968, Wayne directed and starred in the Vietnam War-era film The Green Berets, with George Takei. A year later, he co-starred with Kim Darby in True Grit. Paul Fix was a personal friend of Wayne and acted in several of his films.