Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
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 <email@example.com>
Released at a time when musicals were rapidly going out of fashion, the film went notoriously over budget and behind schedule. Opening to mostly negative reviews, it was not the huge box office success that the producers had hoped. 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 »
[the hijacked stage coach carrying six prostitutes is approaching No Name City. The completely male population is scrubbing up in the creek and singing]
There's a coach comin' in and you're smellin' like a steer.
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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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