IMDb > El Dorado (1966)
El Dorado
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El Dorado (1966) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 66 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
El Dorado -- Clip: Now you're deputies
El Dorado -- Clip: Well I owe him one
El Dorado -- Clip: How's that
El Dorado -- Clip: That's right

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   14,543 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Leigh Brackett (screenplay)
Harry Brown (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for El Dorado on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 June 1967 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's The Big One With The Big Two! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Really smart, complex, well acted, and likable...great stuff!! See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Cole Thornton

Robert Mitchum ... El Dorado Sheriff J.P. Harrah

James Caan ... Mississippi
Charlene Holt ... Maudie

Paul Fix ... Dr. Miller
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Bull

Michele Carey ... Josephine (Joey) MacDonald

R.G. Armstrong ... Kevin MacDonald

Edward Asner ... Bart Jason

Christopher George ... Nelse McLeod
Marina Ghane ... Maria

Robert Donner ... Milt
John Gabriel ... Pedro

Johnny Crawford ... Luke MacDonald
Robert Rothwell ... Saul MacDonald

Adam Roarke ... Matt MacDonald
Victoria George ... Jared's wife

Jim Davis ... Jim Purvis (Bart Jason's foreman)
Ann Newman-Mantee ... Saul MacDonald's wife (as Anne Newman)
Diane Strom ... Matt's wife
Olaf Wieghorst ... Swede Larsen (gunsmith)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Andrade ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Barfly (uncredited)
Charlita ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Don Collier ... Deputy Joe Braddock (uncredited)
Enrique Contreras ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney ... Jared MacDonald (uncredited)
Linda Dangcil ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Nacho Galindo ... Mexican Saloon Keeper (uncredited)

Joe Garcio ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Betty Jane Graham ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Robert 'Buzz' Henry ... Man Behind Piano (uncredited)
William Henry ... Sheriff Dodd Draper (uncredited)
Lars Hensen ... Barfly (uncredited)
Riley Hill ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Chuck Horne ... Joe (uncredited)
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Bonnie Charyl Josephson ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Joe King ... Joe the Piano Player (uncredited)
Mike Letz ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Frank Leyva ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Myra MacMurray ... Bit Part (uncredited)
John Mitchum ... Elmer - Jason's Bartender (uncredited)
Ruben Moreno ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Deen Pettinger ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Lee Powell ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Jason's Gunman (uncredited)
Anthony Rogers ... Dr. Charles Donovan (uncredited)
Danny Sands ... Bit Par (uncredited)
Robert Shelton ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Dean Smith ... Charlie Hagan - McLeod Gang (uncredited)
John Strachen ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Rosa Turich ... Rosa (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Christopher West ... Bit Part (uncredited)

Directed by
Howard Hawks 
 
Writing credits
Leigh Brackett (screenplay)

Harry Brown (novel "The Stars in Their Courses")

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer
Paul Helmick .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Nelson Riddle (music scored by)
 
Cinematography by
Harold Rosson (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John Woodcock 
 
Art Direction by
Carl Anderson 
Hal Pereira 
 
Set Decoration by
Robert R. Benton  (as Robert Benton)
Ray Moyer 
 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
 
Makeup Department
Nellie Manley .... hair style supervisor
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
John R. Coonan .... unit production manager (as John Coonan)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Andrew J. Durkus .... assistant director
William R. Poole .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Earl Olin .... property master
Olaf Wieghorst .... original paintings
 
Sound Department
John R. Carter .... sound recordist (as John Carter)
Charles Grenzbach .... sound recordist
Bill Wistrom .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Farciot Edouart .... process photography
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects
 
Stunts
Polly Burson .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Combs .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Courtney .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert 'Buzz' Henry .... stunts (uncredited)
Walt La Rue .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Leonard .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Raymond .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Danny Sands .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Neil Summers .... stunts (uncredited)
George P. Wilbur .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Phil Stern .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Gil Grau .... orchestrator
Nelson Riddle .... conductor
 
Other crew
Charlsie Bryant .... script supervisor
Howard Hawks .... presenter
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
126 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:ATP | Australia:PG | Canada:G (Manitoba/Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Norway:16 | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:U | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1995) (2000) (2002) | USA:Approved (certificate #21158) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to James Caan, during a break he and John Wayne got into an altercation over a game of chess. Caan accused Wayne of cheating. Robert Mitchum intervened and cooled things down.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Joey shoots Cole he is quartering towards her. The camera angle is from where Joey is positioned. Later when the Dr. is discussing Cole's wound the path of the bullet entered in Cole's back, impossible from where Joey was positioned.See more »
Quotes:
Sheriff J. P. Harrah:[bathing in the jail cell as several people enter] Good morning, good morning, good morning... I'd have more privacy in the El Paso railroad station.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Hotel Piano No. 1See more »

FAQ

How similar is this film to Rio Bravo?
Meaning of Poem Eldorado
Why does Cole describe things to Macdonald that his dying son never said?
See more »
5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Really smart, complex, well acted, and likable...great stuff!!, 28 January 2013
Author: secondtake from United States

El Dorado (1966)

A brilliant movie. I hate to use an overused word, or to seem over the top here. But I really thought Howard Hawks created an arguably better version of "Rio Bravo" by doing two key things. One is using two leads who had great mature chemistry together, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. The other is using James Caan as a more convincing and slightly less frivolous sidekick instead of Ricky Nelson in the earlier version. Many people will disagree and that's fine--my point is this is a terrific and somewhat overlooked film.

Not that the plots of the two are identical, and you might really blame the director/producer for doing a cheap attempt at a hit, without total originality. The fact is, he succeeds so well you don't mind. Everything is first rate. Even the humor as it gets more and more slapstick and out of keeping with the very serious beginnings of the film is so at ease and warm you like and want the companionship to continue. Hawks and his actors create a setting and a situation that is almost homey, against the odds. And this is in an era when the American Western is all but dead (the great Spaghetti Westerns were now coming out).

Critical to the success is the great cinematography by Harold Rosson, who filmed so many classic movies it's hard to know where to start (but start with "The Wizard of Oz" and "Singin' in the Rain"). This is his last film, and he never stops pushing boundaries. There are not only beautiful scenes in the little towns or the shots from the belltower near the end, but some innovative ones.

The big theme here is a common one in Westerns--a group of bad guys with guns is out to take something from a group of good common folk. But the solution is notable, and pushed to a limit. That is, the problem is solved through camaraderie and friendship, through trust. And by joining in the cause even if there is no reward, and even though death is not unlikely. It's a story that is oversimplified, of course, but it feels good. Where some Anthony Mann Westerns and the famous Zinnemann "High Noon" often have evil or selfish or cowardly people all around the protagonist, here there is only a sense that good will prevail, and by persistence and teamwork.

Wayne is at his best here. He's often at his best, I suppose, since he's so consistent, but this shows a strong, smart, wise character that is probably the true Wayne. He's tough and funny and believes in what is right. Period. And I think Hawks knew how to make Wayne look and act his best, and Mitchum seemed to also resonate well. For his part, Mitchum is a terrific derelict sheriff, not overacting, making it reasonable and his character sympathetic. The two have a lot of scenes together and they seem to enjoy themselves without quite breaking into grins on camera.

Finally it should be said that the story line is rich and complex. Yes it follows certain common themes and clichés, but it continually twists them up. The first twenty minutes are a harrowing ride of upturned expectations, and the plot really has its teeth sunk into misunderstandings and mistakes that take on huge ramifications. Well written, well paced dialog, well done.

One weakness in both "El Dorado" and "Rio Bravo" is the lead woman in each case, meant to be a "type" of course but in "El Dorado" coming off as weirdly modern in both sensibility and make-up. I mean cosmetics. Even more glaring is the crazy 1966 hair and eyeliner on a younger woman in the story, who is terrific overall but just seems out of place. You might say the same for Caan, too, but he plays his part with such idiosyncratic verve you accept him as a legitimate oddball.

Why not just see "Rio Bravo" instead, since it carries similar themes, and Hawks and Wayne as well, and has a superior reputation? Go ahead. "Rio Bravo" is a more serious drama, and is terrific. But if you have access to this one (and the streaming Netflix copy is superb), then I'd plunge in. Highly rated, and still underrated.

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