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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 8,064 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 18 critic

Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.

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(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Paint Your Wagon (1969)

Paint Your Wagon (1969) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Alan Dexter ...
William O'Connell ...
Benny Baker ...
Haywood Holbrook (as Ben Baker)
Alan Baxter ...
Paula Trueman ...
...
Atwell
Geoffrey Norman ...
Foster
...
Terry Jenkins ...
Joe Mooney
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Storyline

A Michigan farmer and a prospector form a partnership in the California gold country. Their adventures include buying and sharing a wife, hijacking a stage, kidnaping six prostitutes, and turning their mining camp into a boomtown. Along the way there is plenty of drinking, gambling, and singing. They even find time to do some creative gold mining. Written by David J. Kiseleski <davidk269@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ben and Pardner shared everything -- even their wife! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de la ciudad sin nombre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount advertised for extras, and Portland's hippie population turned out, complete with long hair, mustaches and beards, period clothing, and camping gear. The local rednecks were infuriated that 'dirty hippies' got the plum jobs...until they began buying groceries, beer, and antiques in town. See more »

Goofs

While working in the "mine", Ben Rumson can clearly be seen wearing a carbide lamp. Carbide lamps were not developed until 1892, but the movie is set in 1849. See more »

Quotes

Ben Rumson: Is they dead? They better be cause I'm fixin' to bury em'!
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Connections

Featured in From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Gold Fever
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by André Previn
Sung by Clint Eastwood & The Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Gotta Dream Boy, Gotta A Song, Paint Your Wagon, And Come Along"
9 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately Paint Your Wagon came at a time when big budget musicals were going out of vogue. The expenses of this film nearly bankrupted Paramount and it was many years before the studio recouped its investment. Another big Broadway hit from the same era, Finian's Rainbow also came to the big screen a few years earlier and bombed at the box office.

Paint Your Wagon ran 289 performances for the 1951-1952 season on Broadway. Daring in its time, Paint Your Wagon had an interracial love theme. That was too tame for the newly liberated silver screen from the Code and here we have a woman, Jean Seberg, marrying two gold miners, Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin. This might be the first story on screen about polyandry unless you count Noel Coward's Design for Living and that was a heavily censored version.

Listening to Lee Marvin it sounds like an eminently practical arrangement. Lee saves Clint Eastwood after a fall and nurses him back to health and he makes him a partner. Then he 'buys' at auction Jean Seberg who is the second wife of passing Mormon John Mitchum.

Since Clint's a partner in everything, sharing a wife seems a sensible arrangement. Lee's character Ben Rumson has some very interesting ideas on morality, especially morality out in the wilds. You'll have to see Paint Your Wagon to hear him explain his views.

Jean Seberg's voice is dubbed by Anita Gordon, but Eastwood and Marvin do their own numbers. For Marvin, he does it in the tradition of Rex Harrison and Richard Burton in those other Lerner and Loewe musicals and it comes off nicely. Clint Eastwood's many talents do not include singing however.

But as it turned out Paint Your Wagon needed all the help it could get at the box office. They could have cast a singer in Clint's part, but where was there on who could play the role, be the right age, and bring in the dollars. By 1969 there really was no such male singer in Hollywood. Probably in the fifties someone like Gordon MacRae or Howard Keel might have done it then.

The comedy is pretty raucous from Lee Marvin's original ideas on sex to the whole town caving in because of all the mine tunnels beneath. Paint Your Wagon holds up well and it's not as bad a film as has come down by reputation. It might be painful for Clint Eastwood fans to hear him sing though.


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