He also played the double for Victor Mc Laglen in the movie, The Quiet Man, in 1951, after hustling himself into the part by claiming cousinship of John Ford. Between filming, he went on a wild session one evening and night with John Wayne. Later, as the drink loosened the tongue and stiffened the courage, John Wayne challenged Thorton to a fight, telling him that only one would survive it. Thorton did not accept the challenge because he knew it would not be Wayne. It was also no coincidence that the character that Wayne played in the movie was called Sean Thornton.
He also had a canny if not jaundiced eye for a deal. One farmer he had to deal with still had his first Holy Communion money, and Thornton set out to part some of it from him.