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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 15 October 1969 (USA)
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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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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...
...
...
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Alan Dexter ...
William O'Connell ...
...
Haywood Holbrook (as Ben Baker)
...
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:

Stake Your Claim To The Musical Goldmine of '69! 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

Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg had an affair during filming in Baker County, Oregon. Jerry Pam, a publicist for both actors at the time, told Seberg biographer David Richards in 1981: "Once they got back to Paramount, it was as if Clint didn't know who she was. Jean couldn't believe that he could be that indifferent to her, after everything that had gone on in Baker. She was a very vulnerable woman, and it was a terrible trauma for her." At the same time Eastwood was having yet another affair with one of the film's extras. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the said extra told Seberg biographer Garry McGee in 2008: "We had an affair for two years. Since I was involved with Clint at the time, he pulled a few strings and got me work on the film." When asked if Seberg knew about Eastwood's other involvement, the woman said, "No. She had no idea." Eastwood kept mum on the subject for years, but in 2013 he uncharacteristically agreed to talk about Seberg for a French documentary. While the extent of their involvement was not discussed, Eastwood did admit: "I'd say she's important in my life, yes." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Pardner: [Horace Tabor has opposed Ben's plan to kidnap the French prostitutes] Horace is right,Ben ! We can't bring them women here. Why, you bring them here and the next thing you know, you got to build a place for them to stay, people will be coming in from all over and they'll need somewhere to stay. Schermehorn and these other merchants will have to stock up on suplies to sell. Then Willie will have to open a saloon or two with gambling and drinkin'. Why before you know it, this place will be a boom...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Good Neighbors: I Talk to the Trees (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm On My Way
(Main Title)
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Sung by The Chorus
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User Reviews

It still grabs ya
28 July 2004 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Is the movie great? No, but it is a good one. If it were great, it would not suffer from it's long running time. A wider audience would no doubt warm to a shorter version. More is the pity, too, because the movie has much to offer. The scenery is beautiful; the sets reconstructions are first rate. Listen to the lyrics of some of the songs ('Gold Fever' and 'The First Thing You Know' are two good examples) and you can appreciate the wordsmithing skill of Alan Jay Lerner. If you like a large all-male chorus, the film offers some of the best singing of that kind you are likely to hear. Listen especially during 'There's a Coach Coming In'.

I must confess a guilty admiration for characters who are unapologetically amoral and corrupt, at least as defined by 'respectable society'. I wouldn't necessarily want one for a neighbor or even a friend (well .. maybe), but they are fascinating on film or stage. If the film is a comedy, they can be hilarious and often steal the show. All you need is the right actor to fill the role. Paint Your Wagon offers one of the most uproariously amoral characters on film, brought to amazing life by Lee Marvin. He delivers Ben Rumson's imminently quotable home-spun philosophy of life with great relish and comedic timing. Can he sing? No. But then would a somewhat dissipated Gold Rush miner likely be a good singer? His non-singing actually fits.

The rest of the cast is good but not exceptional. Ray Walston is memorable as Mad Jack. I still find it hard to spot the actor I am used to behind the beard and accent. He also has some great lines. Harve Presnell is the only truly major-league singer in the cast and delivers the most memorable song. The remaining actors are adequate. Eastwood is good but replaceable. Jean Seaberg is not Meryl Streep but is certainly easy on the eyes. The townsfolk are solid.

An enjoyable movie, with Lee Marvin's performance worth the price of admission. It is too bad it requires such a long time commitment to experience it all.


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