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The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

 -  Western  -  1 July 1965 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,833 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 34 critic

Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary Gordon
...
...
Matt Elder
Jeremy Slate ...
Ben Latta
...
Morgan Hastings
...
Sheriff Billy Wilson
...
...
Dave Hastings
Sheldon Allman ...
Harry Evers
...
Minister
...
Hyselman
James Westerfield ...
Mr. Vennar
...
Charlie Striker
Edit

Storyline

The Elder boys return to Clearwater, Texas for their Mother's funeral. John the eldest is a well known gunfighter and trouble follows him wherever he goes. The boys try to get back their ranch from the towns gunsmith who won it from their father in a card game with which he was shortly murdered there after but not before getting through the troubles that come with the Elders name. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ranch | murder | texas | gunfighter | funeral | See more »

Taglines:

From the four winds they came, the four brothers, their eyes smoking and their fingers itching... See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Sons of Katie Elder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite this being a big-budget movie with a large cast, Karl Swenson was utilized to play two parts. He played "Doc Isdell" and also the bartender in the scene where the Dean Martin character auctioned his eye. The bartender part actually had more lines of dialogue. See more »

Goofs

When John Elder is watching his mother's funeral, he is shown from three different angles, but he is also standing in three different spots. See more »

Quotes

Bud Elder: I'm going with you. I can draw pretty fast. We can be famous -- like the Dalton Brothers!
John Elder: They're famous -- but they're just a little bit dead. They were hung!
See more »


Soundtracks

The Sons Of Katie Elder
(uncredited)
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining Wayne Oater!
17 January 2006 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Sons of Katie Elder", though not one of John Wayne's best westerns, is very entertaining nonetheless. Director Henry Hathaway keeps the story moving providing us with breathtaking scenery and a rousing finale. We are also treated to another rousing score from composer Elmer Bernstien.

The story has the four Elder brothers, John (Wayne), Tom (Dean Martin), Matt (Earl Holliman) and Bud (Michael Anderson Jr.) returning home to Clearwater, Texas for their mother's funeral (the "Katie" of the title). It seems that Katie had been held in reverence by the townspeople while eking out a living to enable the youngest, Bud to attend college.

Their father had also died six months earlier and had apparently lost the family ranch in a poker game. Further investigation reveals that he had been murdered by being shot in the back.

Number one suspect is the town gunsmith Morgan Hastings (James Gregory). Hastings it seems, has acquired the Elder ranch and lives there with his spineless son Dave (Dennis Hopper). Hastings has also hired gunfighter Curley (George Kennedy) to help him get rid of the Elders.

When town sheriff Billy Watson (Paul Fix) is murdered Deputy Ben Latta (Jeremy Slate) immediately blames the Elders and arrests them. While transporting his prisoners to another venue they are ambushed and.......

This was the first film for Wayne following his surgery for cancer. You'll notice that he wears a large bandanna over his neck, presumably to hide the scars and/or the jowls. He was now beginning to show his age and the fact that at nearing age 60, he was still playing a character presumably much younger, kind of detracts a little from his credibility in the role. But hey its John Wayne. Who really cared?

As in most of Wayne's films, the cast includes a roster of recognizable faces. Martha Hyer provides window dressing as Wayne's potential love interest. Also in the cast are John Qualen as the jailer, John Litel as the minister, John Doucette as the undertaker, James Westerfield as the banker, Karl Swenson as the bartender, Rhys Williams as Striker the horse rancher, Strother Martin as the guy who "wins" Martin's glass eye, Percy Helton as the storekeeper and Rudolfo Acosta and Chuck Roberson as contends.

The two plus hour running time goes by quickly. Don't miss the scene where Wayne cold cocks Kennedy or the final shootout.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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