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This is the Duke at his two-fisted, brawling best, along with Maureen
O'Hara, who lights up the screen, in `McLintock!' a rousing western/comedy
directed by Andrew W. McLaglen. John Wayne is George Washington McLintock,
cattle baron and owner of just about everything around for as far as the eye
can see. He owns cattle, mines and lumber, and even the town is named after
him. And he's a fair man and a good employer to boot, who pays a fair wage
for a good day's work. He even hires a young man, Devlin Warren (Patrick
Wayne), who has come in with a group of homesteaders who have been given
land by the government and plan to farm the Mesa Verde, even though, as
McLintock warns them, it's impossible to farm at 6000 feet above sea level.
In the meantime, young Devlin has to support his mother, Louise (Yvonne De
Carlo) and his sister, Alice (Aissa Wayne). So G.W. even hires Louise to be
the cook for his outfit. McLintock is The Man in these parts, and he earns
the respect he is accorded by most of the good citizens of the territory.
But he has one problem, and it's a big one; and it comes in quite a package:
His estranged wife, Katherine (O'Hara), who has just come back to town to
settle a certain issue with her husband. And the fireworks begin the minute
she steps off the train.
The main bone of contention has to do with their daughter, Becky (Stefanie Powers), who will be returning home from college soon. Katherine wants to take her east to live; G.W. in having none of it. And shades of `Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,' that's his final answer. The real rub is that G.W. still loves Katherine, and he still doesn't know what put the burr in her saddle and caused her to leave him two years earlier. It's also obvious that Katherine still loves G.W., but she apparently can't get past whatever it was that caused the split in the first place. But her eyes sparkle whenever Drago (Chill Wills), G.W.'s right hand man, brings up the `good ol' days,' and she's reminded of when they started out with nothing but each other and a lot of love and courage.
There's a touch of `Taming of the Shrew,' in this story, and near the end Wayne and O'Hara virtually reenact one of their own scenes from `The Quiet Man,' all of which adds up to a couple of hours worth of good, old fashioned fun. This movie never pretends or aspires to be anything other than what it is, which is good, wholesome entertainment that features some memorable characters, lots of humor and some classic lines. The Duke is trim and healthy and never swaggered better, and O'Hara, in a green dress against which her gorgeous red hair absolutely glows, makes you wonder if there's ever been a more beautiful actress ever to grace the silver screen. And the two of them have a chemistry together that ranks right up there with the best pairings the movies ever had to offer. The Duke may be in command, but he certainly has his hands full with that fighting Irish wildcat, O'Hara. Together, they've created some moments on screen that will live forever.
Adding to the merriment is an all-star supporting cast that includes Jerry Van Dyke (Matt, Jr.), Hank Worden (Curly), Bruce Cabot (Ben), Jack Kruschen (Jake), Edgar Buchanan (Bunny), Perry Lopez (Davey Elk), Michael Pate (Puma), Strother Martin (Agard), Gordon Jones (Douglas), Robert Lowery (Governor Humphrey), H.W. Gim (Ching), Edward Faulkner (Young Ben), Chuck Roberson (Sheriff), Mari Blanchard (Camille), Leo Gordon (Jones), Bob Steele (Train Engineer) and Big John Hamilton (Fauntleroy). McLaglen sets the pace and keeps this vintage Wayne/O'Hara vehicle right on task, which makes `McLintock!' a classic in it's own right. It's a timeless film that captures the attitude and freedom of a time gone by that simply does not exist anymore in this, our `advanced' era of political correctness, which often stifles the very freedom it espouses. And watching this movie, it makes you wonder about the `progress' we've made in the past thirty years or so. As far as movies go, this one is magic, and it proves that they just don't make em like they used to. I rate this one 9/10.
Whatever you think of John Wayne's politics, they were never better
expressed more convincingly or with more entertainment than they are in
McLintock. At first glance this film is a rough house western version
of The Taming of the Shrew. But it is far more than that, it is the
closest thing we have to a film manifesto of the world as John Wayne
As G.W. McLintock, the Duke is the American dream personified. The man who came west and by dint of his own sweat and labor built a cattle empire. He did it without the government's help and note how he tells the settlers the government doesn't 'give' anything away. One of the three people identified as villains in his world view is land agent Gordon Jones. He's a liberal in McLintock, peddling the view that government help is the answer to all of our problems.
McLintock rather broadly satirizes other people who Wayne considers liberals. The know-it-all college kid Jerry Van Dyke, the tanglefooted bureaucrat Indian agent Strother Martin, the oily politician Robert Lowery these people get quite a going over.
Wayne doesn't 'give' anybody anything. As he says to son Patrick Wayne in my favorite line in all John Wayne movies, "I don't give jobs, I hire men." That's a creed he followed in real life as well.
Sad to say though the world isn't as simple as McLintock would have us believe. McLintock takes place in the age of the robber barons and those folks were not as noble in character as G.W. McLintock. Maybe the world ought to be like it is in McLintock, but it ain't.
McLintock is one grand piece of entertainment though. The comedy is as broad and unsophisticated as you would find in any John Ford film and with good reason as Wayne and Director Andrew McLaglen learned the movie trade from him.
In addition to dealing with the assorted 'liberals' mentioned above, the Duke has some domestic concerns. Wife Maureen O'Hara has left him, but is back over where their daughter Stefanie Powers will reside. Maureen is playing the same role she did in Rio Grande and later on in Big Jake, the estranged wife who circumstances force her back with Wayne. In the case of McLintock though these are circumstances that Wayne makes on his own with some inspiration from The Taming of the Shrew.
The cast is populated with a grand cast of regulars from previous Wayne films like Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan, Hank Worden, Leo Gordon, Michael Pate, and some already mentioned.
Jack Kruschen makes his one and only film appearance in a Wayne film here. He does very well as the kindly, benevolent and obviously Jewish storekeeper. He's got an important function also here, as another self made American success story in the same film.
Yvonne DeCarlo got cast in this film after her husband who was a stunt man was injured badly on another film. She had heavy duty medical expenses and Wayne was not about charity. But he was legendary for taking care of fellow performers giving them a pay day in his films if they needed it. He didn't give jobs, he hired men and women. Yvonne is Pat Wayne's mother in the film who Maureen suspects of being Wayne's mistress when she's hired as a housekeeper.
We also get an economics lecture from the Duke as well. He works for "every man who goes to a butcher shop and wants a T-Bone steak." And Pat Wayne works for him. It's what makes the capitalist system go.
If you take some of the politics expressed with a critical eye, McLintock is fabulous entertainment, one of the Duke's best films.
Once in a while, even The Duke liked to have a good laugh.
That's obvious in "McLintock!", where nearly every scene is a laugh riot. This is about the most boisterous, rambunctuous, slapstick-driven Western ever made. In fact, it's easy to see why this is one of Wayne's most popular efforts.
Everyone puts in a good performance (even a young Powers as McLintock's daughter) and is willing to give their all in the name of the classic Western (and classic comedy). There are a few Mexican, Indian and Chinese stereotypes that could have been left out but there are so many good spirits herein, it's hard to notice them.
Just look at the chemistry between Wayne and O'Hara as the long-suffering Mrs. McLintock. Small wonder they made a large number of movies together. Fire and brimstone mixes with mud and water until it's obvious that every laugh they generate has been earned honestly. Not an easy thing to do in any movie, especially nowadays.
Look, you can see a movie like "True Grit", "The Searchers" and "Rio Lobo" anytime you want to see The Duke in all his glory. But for good old raucous fun, give "McLintock!" a try.
Ten stars. The Duke and slapstick. Two great things that go great together.
This is film-making at it's best! Superbly cast and acted, John Wayne stars with Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Chill Wills and Strother Martin in a western with a twist of humor. There's some drama and enough action to keep the viewer's interest, but this film contains some hilarious scenes, particularly between O'Hara and Wayne. Those two have worked together (superbly!) before and it shows. Their interaction is perfect and the results provide some real comic relief! This isn't one of Wayne's old "oaters", but a wonderfully written and executed film. Don't miss this film - it's one of the greats!
Directed by Andrew MacLaglan, this rip-roaring John Wayne-Maureen
O'Hara comedy lets them do what they did best.
Wayne plays George Washington McLintock, a brawler and he-man in typical Western setting. O'Hara plays his feisty wife and Stefanie Powers their bratty daughter, Becky. Patrick Wayne, son of Big John, plays Becky's intended, a young man who looks like he'll wind up just like her pa.
'McLintock' is fast, furious, and funny. About as far from PC as you can get, this Western take on The Taming of the Shrew is bawdy and boisterous, and the casting is perfect. John Wayne was a man's man in the 'gotta do what he has to do' mould and this role was perfect. O'Hara - his best co-star - is also superb.
I've always been a John Wayne fan and a fan of this movie in particular.
When it came out in 1963, there was a television special on the making of
"McLintock!" that showed the filming of the famous muddy fight sequence.
That got me wanting to see this film even more.
In today's "politically correct" atmosphere, the spanking scenes would seem to some as barbarian. But it was played as broad comedy and remains broad comedy. Maureen O'Hara gave (verbally) as she got.
40 years ago, during the telecast of JFK's funeral, the flag-draped casket and caisson were shown passing by a movie theater. On the marquee: "McLintock!"
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since its opening in 1963, I'd had seen 'McLintock!' four or five times
over the years. I'd always considered it a fun, albeit chauvinistic
western 'battle of the sexes.' Only after viewing it again after the
recent 'loosening of the grips' of the Wayne family estate, did I come
to realize its greatness. All great westerns have great themes, and
'McLintock!' is no exception. 'McLintock!' is about forgiveness, the
forgiveness that comes with letting go of the animosities of the past
and acceptance of those things in the present that will only with time
It's Wayne's most lyrical movie as well as his funniest. Wayne plays George Washington McLintock (GW to his wife and friends), the wealthiest rancher on the Mesa Verde. GW is roughly 50 and the changes in him over those fifty years reflects the coming of civilization to the Mesa Verde in particular and to the west in general. GW has become wise to ways of human nature, and, thus, more prepared for the changes which are beyond his control. But GW is a tormented man; for his wife Kathryn (Maureen O'Hara) has left him. So GW spends each and every night getting drunk and whoring, ending up every night tossing his two pound Stetson onto to the weather vane on his roof. This is the first real clue there is something going in 'McClintock' beside the standard story. If GW is happy drinking and whoring, why does he return home EVERY night to sleep in an empty bed, marking his lonely days by each Stetson on that weather vane?
GW and his foreman, Drago (Chill Wills) arrives in the town named after McLintock and run into Bunny, an old half-breed drunk. GW, an easy touch, orders Drago to give Bunny a dollar for a drink, which Drago does reluctantly. GW and Drago enter the Jake Birnbaum's General Store. There GW finds out that Kathryn is visiting town awaiting the return of their only child, Becky, from college. GW learns this by a telegram given to him by Jaime, Birnbaum's Indian assistant. These scenes establish the history of a close relationship between GW, Jake and Jaime, a long relationship unmarked by prejudice, since Jake's a Jew and Jaime's a young Indian. Knowing that Kathryn must be staying in the town's only hotel, GW goes there, running into his favorite whore, Camille (Mari Blanchard) in the process. When GW finally confronts Kathryn in her room, Kathryn is pretentious and downright hostile. GW can barely keep his hands off her, clumsily trying to show Kathryn how much he loves her. However, both Kathryn and the audience know GW is an adulterer, and it is only Wayne's persona, O'Hara's gifted obnoxiousness and the preceeding scenes establishing GW's basic decency which allow us to sympathize with him. We don't dislike Kathryn for her treatment of GW, we dislike Kathryn for her treatment of everyone else. This makes it possible for us to root for GW in his pursuit of reconciliation with Kathryn.
The turning point of the movie for GW and Kathryn actually comes early. I call it the 'Queens in Danger' scene. After Kathryn moves back to the ranch and gives GW an especially bad time, GW goes into town to get drunk and 'see' Camille. Suddenly, GW changes his mind, remembering his buddy Jake's last chess move (GW and Jake play chess as frequently as possible). When Camille's asks where GW is going, GW remarks 'Queen's in danger.' On the surface, he simply appears to be pondering a chess strategy. Actually, the 'queen' to which GW is referring is Kathryn. One slip up with Camille, and GW can forget ever getting Kathryn back. After this episode, it's only a matter of time (and some VERY funny situations) before GW will regain his 'Queen'.
The extended 'chase' of Kathryn by at the end of the movie has always bothered me for its apparent chauvinism. However, in addition to being an homage to 'The Quiet Man,' this 'chase' represents GW and Kathryn finally coming to terms with their feelings for each other. Kathryn had a legitimate gripe against GW's infidelity even when it becomes apparent Kathryn herself has been unfaithful and GW knows it. However, Kathryn has been cruel to EVERYBODY. Finally, her cutting remark to GW after he has failed to sway the governor regarding the plight of the Indians was too much. Kathryn herself could have done more, but she had done nothing. Kathryn had been itching for a confrontation with GW from the beginning, and when he finally offers her one, she runs from him. Like a naughty schoolgirl, Kathryn runs from GW, and like a naughty schoolgirl, she eventually gets spanked for her boorish behavior.
END OF SPOILERS As Kathryn, Maureen O'Hara has never been better. Alternately overbearing, vulnerable, coquettish, combative and sexy, O'Hara would have easily garnered an Oscar had her work appeared in a more 'serious' movie.
There are so many rich subplots and themes in 'McLintock,' it would be very difficult (and a waste of time) to go into them here. Some include the changing West, mistreatment of the Indians, honor, hypocrisy, male/female roles, male bonding, class struggle and misguided patronage. I think there are more of these in this film than many other 'great' westerns combined. It's all presented so goodnaturedly, it's easy to dismiss McClintock! as a piece of cinematic fluff. It's anything but. Not perfect, in fact somewhat cheapened by some less than stellar supporting actors, 'McLintock' is still worth a '9.'
"McClintock" is loosely based on William Skakespesre's "The Taming of
the Shrew". It is not your usual John Wayne western (in fact he doesn't
draw his six shooter even once), but is more of a broad comedy with a
tip of the hat to John Ford.
This film was the first to be produced by Wayne's son Michael who had basically taken over the running of Wayne's production company Batjac. It also was the first major feature to be directed by Andrew V. McLaglen who had learned his trade as an assistant on previous Wayne features and on TV. He is also the son of former Wayne co-star Victor McLaglan.
The story is simple. G.W. McClintock (Wayne) is rough and tumble hard drinking rancher whose estranged wife of two years, Katherine (Maureen O'Hara) has returned to try to gain custody of their daughter Becky (Stephanie Powers). The conflict between the two forms the basis for the rest of the picture. Into the mix comes a widowed settler Mrs. Warren (Yvonne DeCarlo) and her son Devlin (Patrick Wayne) who becomes enamored of Becky. The chemistry between Wayne and O'Hara makes this film go. The big gruff Wayne vs. the fiery Irish redhead provides much of the humor of the piece.
The scene for which this film is probably best remembered is the fight at the top of a mud slide Most of the combatants, including the two stars wind up going down the slide into a pool of mud below. And then there's the climatic chase through the streets.
The film features most of the members of the John Wayne stock company. Chill Wills plays Wayne's foreman Drago, Bruce Cabot as a rival rancher, Hank Worden as "Curley", Ed Faulkner as Cabot's son, Chuck Roberson as the Sheriff and Bob Steele as a train engineer.
Other familiar faces include Jack Kruschen as storekeeper Jake Birnbaum, Jerry Van Dyke as Junior a rival suitor for Becky, Perry Lopez as Davey Elk an educated Indian, Strother Martin as Agard the Indian agent, Gordon Jones as Douglas, McClintock's longtime nemesis, Robert Lowery as the governor, Michael Pate as Puma the Commanche chief, Marie Blanchard as saloon girl Camille and Leo Gordon as the settler who is the first to go down the famous mud slide.
A little devoid of action (there are no gunfights or saloon brawls), McClintock remains one of Wayne's most popular films.
The Paramount DVD release is billed as the "Authentic" Collector's Edition. Some years ago, the film somehow fell into the public domain and an inferior version of the film has been floating about the bargain bins as a result. This release however, restores the film to its widescreen aspect ratio as well as, showing its rich and vibrant colors. There is also interviews with the ageless Maureen O'Hara (still looking as beautiful as ever in her 80s) and Stephanie Powers who looks better now than she did in the film. Leonard Maltin hosts the various segments and provides a feature length commentary along with film historian Frank Thompson, O'Hara, Powers and Michael Pate.
"McLintock", released in 1963, was a film that gave the Duke a chance to
simply play a role for laughs, and let the story take care of itself.
Paired with long-time screen leading lady Maureen O'Hara, the two manage to
play their roles to the hilt, and the viewer can simply
John Wayne is G. W. McLintock, a wealthy rancher that is looking to enjoy what his years of hard work have earned him--money, major spread, cattle, respect, etc. What is missing, however, is his wife, Katherine, played by Maureen O'Hara. Two years ago, without any advance warning, Kate split from the McLintock ranch and headed eastward, taking their daughter with her. Now, the daughter is returning from college, and Kate is returning, as well, determined to see that Becky goes back with her. G. W. is going to do his best to see that Becky stays with him.
The film's comedy sequences features a wild fist fight taking place at a mud slide, eventually, all the major participants end up in a slide down the mud, yes, even G. W. and Kate, and at the end of the film, a wild chase between G. W. and Kate, that ends up with a spanking being applied to Kate's backside. Ultimately, the fighting McLintocks become the peaceful duo, and the fireworks come to an end.
Well, this film certainly may not be too politically correct for these times, but that aside, is simply a very well acted Western version of "The Taming of the Shrew". The chemistry between John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is electric. She plays her role so convincing that you're happy she gets her spanking from George McLintock in the end. It's all done in a very comical way, and Maureen O'Hara was an excellent comic actress. For this reason, this film remains popular. In some ways it is similar to another John Wayne film, "The Quiet Man" also starring with Maureen O'Hara. In that film, John also plays the patient guy trying hard not to become violent, but to no avail. Both films represent the rawness of the land they live in: the rough American West and the bucolic but tough Irish country where fist fighting is very much a man's art. Seen through cultural filters both films are very realistic and natural. Those who look at these films from a perspective foreign to these cultures are missing the point entirely.
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