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El Dorado (1967)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 7 June 1967 (USA)
Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charlene Holt ...
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Marina Ghane ...
Maria
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John Gabriel ...
Pedro
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Luke MacDonald
Robert Rothwell ...
Saul MacDonald
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Storyline

Hired gunman Cole Thornton turns down a job with Bart Jason as it would mean having to fight an old sheriff friend. Some months later he finds out the lawman is on the bottle and a top gunfighter is heading his way to help Jason. Along with young Mississippi, handy with a knife and now armed with a diabolical shotgun, Cole returns to help. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were friends. They were enemies. A passerby could not tell which was who. This was the seething sultry Old Southwest. Where loyalties and labels shifted with the sands, the winking of an eye, the wavering of a gun! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 June 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eldorado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,653,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$6,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harry Brown wanted his novel, "The Stars in their Courses", removed from the opening credits because the film bore little resemblance to his book. See more »

Goofs

After Cole shoots the gun out of Milt's hand and tells him to "Pick it up and try again", the gun is about a foot from the front of the cabinet. When Milt and Pedro reach down to pick up their guns a moment later, Milt's gun is now several feet from the front of the cabinet. See more »

Quotes

Cole: J.P, why don't you settle down?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I just can't help it Cole. I've got the shakes so bad...
Cole: You've had 'em before.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Yeah, well not with a hole in my leg, and a bunch of unfriendly people hanging around outside just waiting for somebody to...
Cole: What do you wanna do? Quit?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Possibly due to their fame, the closing cast list does not bill John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Jack the Ripper Goes West (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Hotel Piano No. 1
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Sukman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
There is some deliberate burlesque in Hawks' "El Dorado."
11 November 2007 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

In the Broken Saloon at El Dorado, two old friends, each with a reputation, meet again… But Sheriff J.P. Harrah (Robert Mitchum) greets Cole Thornton (John Wayne) with a pointed rifle… Harrah has heard his friend works now for Bart Jason (Edward Asner). Thornton admits Jason offered him good money but he doesn't know what he has to do to earn it…

Harrah explains that Jason showed up here around the end of the war with a pocketful of money and nobody could find out where he got it, but everybody else around here was broke… Having money, he started to grow… But now he needs more water… There's only one place to get it… Trouble is somebody was there ahead of him, about 20 years ahead… His name is Kevin MacDonald (R. G. Armstrong).

MacDonald got four boys and a girl… All worked real hard… They hung together through the rough times and how things were looking up, MacDonald was not ready to sell… So he's holding and Jason was pushing, and the sheriff was standing right in the middle…

Warned that Thornton has gone to Jason's, MacDonald has left his youngest boy out there to do a man's job… He went to sleep… When Cole came by, Luke (Johnny Crawford) woke up, jumped up and started firing his gun… All Cole was seeing was somebody shooting at him from the rocks… Thornton, thinking himself the target, shoots and drops the boy … Luke explains the error then… To escape the pain of his mortal wound, he kills himself…

Thornton takes his body to his fathers' place, and after he explains what happened, his sister, Joey (Michele Carey), a wild cat in buckskin pants who didn't believe him, tried to kill him… Her brother stops her and her father asks her to get in the house…

After Thornton leaves the ranch, Joey (Michele Carey) ambushes Cole at a creek, dropping him with her riffle bullet… He manages to get back on his horse and escapes to Maudie's place, where Doc Miller (Paul Fix) treats him… The bullet was dangerous up against his spine, however, as Doc advises him to find a better surgeon for the bullet's removal…

After a short time, Thornton leaves El Dorado…

One of the best moments in the film came in a Cantina near the Mexican border when James Caan (Mississippi) enters the place and calls one of four men sitting at a dinner table, reminding him if he remembers him or if he remembers the blue hat he is wearing? Mississippi says he caught up with his other three companions and he killed them all, and that he was the last of the four… He asks him to stand up… and as the audience observed, Mississippi wasn't wearing, at all, any gun…

Obviously, when Jason just brought his outfit into town, the action started…

Robert Mitchum is 'the tin star with a drunk pinned on it.' He was too mad to be scared and too sick to worry about it..

Charlene Holt plays Maudie the gambler's widow who throws her arms around Cole, sees Harrah, and bursts out laughing when she finds her old flame and her current one are friends… She tells the sheriff that Cole gave her a stake, and helped her get on her feet…

Michele Carey plays Joey, the wild girl who thinks that Mississippi looks a lot better without that silly hat…

Christopher George plays Nelse McLeod, a dark, thin-faced man with a scar on his eye…

"El Dorado" was the third of four Westerns that Howard Hawks made with John Wayne… Hawks' massive reputation as a director of Westerns virtually rests on just two films ("Red River" & "Rio Bravo") but these two are sufficient to reveal a highly skilled, intuitive filmmaker, and one who has managed to satisfy large audiences and serious critics alike within a commercial system…


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Joey's bottom Picasner
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