The gangster Colorado kidnaps Marshal McKenna. He believes that McKenna has seen a map which leads to a rich vein of gold in the mountains and forces him to show him the way. But they're ...
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The gangster Colorado kidnaps Marshal McKenna. He believes that McKenna has seen a map which leads to a rich vein of gold in the mountains and forces him to show him the way. But they're not the only ones who're after the gold; soon they meet a group of "honorable" citizens and the cavalry crosses their way too - and that is even before they enter Indian territory. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
When I was a kid I used to totally love this movie. I thought it was one of the greatest and the most exciting westerns ever made. When I saw "Mackenna's gold" some years later and I was considerably older it seemed pretty lame and I wondered what was so special about it in the first place. Last night I saw "Mackenna's gold" again, I guess it was the third time. I admit that it wasn't difficult to understand why I adored the film when I was a child. "Mackenna's gold" is not a traditional western, it's more like an entertaining and unique larger-than-life adventure - just the kind of a stuff that appeals to young boy.
There's an interesting script with lots of thrills, action, Indians, lost gold treasure and a bit peculiar characters. I wouldn't be surprised if Steven Spielberg would admit that he's taken plenty of influences from "Mackenna's gold" for his Indiana Jones trilogy. (J. Lee Thompson himself directed afterwards couple of classic adventure flicks, such as two sequels to "The Planet of the apes" and Richard Chamberlain classic "King Solomon's mines".)
When I look at "Mackenna's gold" nowadays I frankly have to acknowledge that even though it's not among the best films of this genre it's a bloody great western and considering that back in 1969 westerns weren't so popular anymore this one's a marvelous classic and one of the finest of the time. Gregory Peck is just as superb as MacKenna as the splendid Omar Sharif in his amusing bad guy role. Supporting cast is excellent too, late Telly Savalas who played Blofeld in James Bond movie that very same year, Julie Newmar and Burgess Meredith (The Catwoman and The Penguin in the 60's tv series "Batman") and the legendary Eli Wallach. I understand that Clint Eastwood turned down the chance to play the leading role of "Mackenna's gold". With him this would have been one of my all time favorites.
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