106 user 19 critic

Paint Your Wagon (1969)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 15 October 1969 (USA)
1:06 | Trailer

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



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4,856 ( 3,161)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


Lee Marvin Sings! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

15 October 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de la ciudad sin nombre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the only film produced by Alan Jay Lerner. See more »


Soon after Ben, Pardner, and Mad Jack open their secret "gold mine" underneath No Name City, a young farmer is recruited to help dig. To emphasize the need for secrecy, Mad Jack threatens to shove a stick of dynamite in the farmer's mouth if he blabs. The film is set in 1849 or 1850, before California becomes a state. Dynamite wasn't yet invented (it was patented by Alfred Nobel in 1867). See more »


Mad Jack Duncan: All right.
[grabs Jacob Woodling by the beard]
Mad Jack Duncan: What about it Mormons?
Sarah Woodling: [whispering] Jacob. We need every penny, Jacob. And I can't bear another day of those martyred looks. There. There it is again!
Elizabeth: This isn't a martyred look, Sarah. This look is puuuure - hatred.
Jacob Woodling: Quiet! Brigham Young has twenty seven wives and he hasn't had half the trouble with them that I've had with the two of you!
Elizabeth: Then simplify your life, Jacob. Sell me.
Jacob Woodling: But Elizabeth: you don't know what you'll get.
Elizabeth: I know what I've had.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Space Travellers (1992) See more »


The Gospel Of No Name City
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by André Previn
Sung by Alan Dexter
See more »

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User Reviews

A Nicely Naturalistic Musical
8 June 2004 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Joshua Logan's screen version of "Paint your wagon" works a treat, perhaps because the original stage version is so little known and apparently has been given something of a make-over by screen writer Paddy Chayefsky. The fact that the leads (Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg) can't sing matters not a jot; they perform with charisma, (even Seberg is less wan than usual) and bring a touch of realism to the proceedings, their songs seeming to evolve naturally from the action. Other singing duties are performed by the splendid Harve Presnell and a rousing, mostly male, chorus for this is a musical western of a more robust kind than "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". It's plot, which concerns mining for gold, polygamy and the building of a town, fairly races along. Logan handles the whole thing with great aplomb and brings to it some nice, naturalistic touches sadly lacking from his earlier musicals, "South Pacific" and "Camelot". Most critics didn't warm to it, though and it remains largely under-valued.

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