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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 7,753 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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Alan Dexter ...
Parson
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:

Paint Your Wagon  »

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 play was produced on Broadway in 1951 and was one of the two properties Louis B. Mayer took with him after being ousted from MGM. Advancing age and the fact that Mayer had been so removed from actual film production for 30+ years rendered him unable to get it underway as a film. 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

Mad Jack Duncan: I don't give a bloody damn how a man prays!
Mad Jack Duncan: There's enough room in hell for all of us!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: All Singing, All Dancing (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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