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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 8,403 users  
Reviews: 50 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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jeremy Slate ...
...
...
...
...
Sheldon Allman ...
Harry Evers
...
Minister
...
Hyselman
James Westerfield ...
Mr. Vennar
...
Charlie Striker
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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

Taglines:

They came from nobody knows where, to do God only knows what... 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:

Die vier Söhne der 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

This picture marked the return of John Wayne to work after having a cancerous lung and two ribs removed just four months earlier. He insisted on doing all his own stunts to show the public that the illness hadn't slowed him down. See more »

Goofs

When Morgan Hastings is conversing with his son at his ranch while test firing a rifle, he bends down to fire the rifle and places it on a pile of sand bags. The bolt of the rifle is in the open position throughout the shot and so can't be fired. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in La última película (2013) 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

 
A good traditional Western
9 January 2004 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

I just saw this movie some 30 years after my first viewing of the film--and surprisingly I found it to be a lot more entertaining than my first recollections of the film.

It's a traditional Hollywood western: good wins over evil, the hero gets the girl, and law is maintained. It has no complications. Even the Mexicans are shown squatting at the funeral far apart from the others only getting up to bury the body. That was how most Westerns were made...So what's good about the film?

Elmer Bernstein's music is as good as his music in 'The Magnificent Seven', if not better. The range of actors: a believable John Wayne, an entertaining Dean Martin with "third-eye" act, a menacing George Kennedy, a "likable" Strother Martin in a brief role as the winner of the third eye, and a fine performance by young Dennis Hopper makes the film above average viewing.

The real hero of the movie is "Katie Elder" dead when the film begins, respected as the film unfolds, and never seen on screen. Everyone seems to remember her with awe. She is epitomized by the empty rocking chair (final shot) and a Bible she leaves behind.

Henry Hathaway's westerns will not be reflective ones as are later Westerns such as "Will Penny", "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here" or "Monte Walsh"--his movies tend to affirm the status quo of typical Hollywood westerns with a heart (good Christian values, strong connection with nature and animals--horses in this movie--as he did in "How the West was Won") and no mind (insensitive to Mexicans and Red Indians). The Christian values in the film are fuzzy, e.g., fool some poor gullible guys at a bar and emerge a hero, or sell a blind horse to gain money and remembered for it at your funeral, etc. This film of Hathaway, ably supported by Bernstein's music and Lucien Ballard's camera, is a great movie for an audience that wants to see a traditional western unfold--and but not be asked to think beyond what is shown.


14 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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