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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 7,912 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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Writers:

(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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...
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...
...
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Alan Dexter ...
William O'Connell ...
Benny Baker ...
Haywood Holbrook (as Ben Baker)
Alan Baxter ...
Paula Trueman ...
...
Atwell
...
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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first attempt to film this property was by Louis B. Mayer and Jack Cummings in 1957. Planned as a Cinerama release with a screenplay by John Lee Mahin and new songs by Alan Jay Lerner and Arthur Schwartz, the project was abandoned when Mayer died. Gary Cooper was being sought to play Ben Rumson. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, the tunnel system collapses and the buildings start to topple over. In several shots the cables used to pull over various buildings are clearly apparent, even though it appears that attempts were made to camouflage them with pennants. What gives it away is that the 'pennants' (until the buildings they are attached to topple over) are clearly under far too much strain to be merely hung as decorations. See more »

Quotes

Ben Rumson: You mean to tell me you ain't never had a woman neither?
Horton: No, sir.
Ben Rumson: This is serious. You know you could go blind? Come here.
[to 'Rotten Luck' Willie]
Ben Rumson: Willie, if a young man was goin' trappin' for the first time and wanted a guide, somebody who would be patient with him and show him the way things are to be done; what kind of guide would you choose?
'Rotten Luck'Willie: [Thinking] Ah, that would be Gracie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Gaos (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Thing You Know
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by André Previn
Sung by Lee Marvin
See more »

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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.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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