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The War Wagon (1967)

Unrated  |   |  Western  |  27 May 1967 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 5,781 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 11 critic

The story of a man who was shot, robbed and imprisoned who returns to steal a large gold shipment from the man who wronged him. The gold is transported in an armored stage coach, the War Wagon.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The War Wagon (1967)

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Levi Walking Bear
...
Billy Hyatt (as Robert Walker)
...
Wes Fletcher
...
Pierce
...
...
Kate
...
Hammond
Gene Evans ...
Deputy Hoag
Terry Wilson ...
Sheriff Strike
Don Collier ...
Shack
Sheb Wooley ...
Snyder
Ann McCrea ...
Felicia
...
Calita (as Emilio Fernandez)
Edit

Storyline

Taw Jackson returns from prison having survived being shot, to the ranch and gold that Frank Pierce stole from him. Jackson makes a deal with Lomax, the man who shot him 5 years ago to join forces against Pierce and steal a large gold shipment. The shipments are transported in the War Wagon, an armored stage coach that is heavily guarded. The two of them become the key players in the caper to separate Pierce from Jackson's gold. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The War Wagon Rolls And The Screen Explodes!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 May 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Gewaltigen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne, who had lost his entire left lung and several ribs in major surgery for cancer in 1964, had great difficulty breathing on an airplane while flying to the location for the start of filming and had to use an oxygen mask throughout the journey. Kirk Douglas recalled that he hadn't realized just how fragile Wayne was until this moment. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Pierce is inspecting the war wagon, there are 2 small spots visible on the wagon not covered by black paint, revealing that the wagon is actually made of wood, not metal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hoag: Sheriff! Taw Jackson's back in town!
Sheriff Strike: You sure?
Hoag: Well, he's ridin' down the street right now, big as life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad Of The War Wagon
Sung by Ed Ames
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyric by Ned Washington
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting, Well-Paced and Colorful; a Fine Noir Western All Round
28 June 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a "caper" film, about what would be a heist in other circumstances. Since the ethics of the perpetrators are those which should have made the authorities make the robbery unnecessary, their act is justified in this situation. This noir western is a bit slick-appearing at some times; but it is physically attractive, has a good cast portraying colorful and somewhat desperate characters, and a strong theme song. Dimitri Tiomkin supplied the very capable score; and Burt Kennedy did a solid job of directing throughout. The very appealing storyline concerns Taw Jackson, played ably by John Wayne, who returns from prison to get back what he can from Bruce Cabot, who stole his ranch and framed him. All he can do is to recruit a group of "mission fighters", beginning with the man who had shot him 5 years earlier, Lomax, played by dynamic Kirk Douglas-and raid the "war wagon"--his enemy's vehicle for transporting gold, a Gatling-Gun-equipped armored stagecoach. Taw's team includes a drunken young dynamite expert he met in prison Robert Walker Jr., Keenan Wynn who is insanely jealous of his young wife, Valora Noland as the wife, Levi Walking Bear in the charismatic person of Howard Keel, his liaison to needed Indian allies, and more. Gene Evans, Joanna Barnes, Ann McRea, Terry Wilson and Frank Mcgrath are among those also doing good professional work in this interesting narrative. Only Noland is a bit weak in this cast. There are some humorous lines and interesting character moments as Wayne assembles his group and plots an attack worthy of "The Dirty Dozen" or "Where Eagles Dare", involving trees that fall at the right moment, Indians faking an attack as a diversion, dynamite used to block off access to a bridge, and a log that swings down and opens the rolling piggy bank violently. What happens after this successful robbery leads to a compromised denouement and ending; but the film is vividly put together, professionally mounted and decently scripted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel. The film stands as a reminder of what any well-made film about an ethical central character can provide relative to any un-ethical and not-fictional man's story competing for a cinema viewer's attention. Moments such as Wayne's visit to his ranch and his talk with the man who stole it, the recruiting of Lomax, the relations of the group, and the raid itself are all memorable. Underrated and always visually interesting.


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