Gold of the Seven Saints (1961) Poster

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Clint "Cheyenne" Walker on the big screen
dinky-421 May 1999
Warner Bros. tried to turn some of its TV stars into movie stars but with limited success. Clint Walker was one who couldn't seem to make the transition which, in retrospect, is rather surprising. After all, the "Cheyenne" actor looked mighty good on the big screen and had a pleasantly easy-going personality but even solid westerns such as this one never caught on with most of the movie-going public. Perhaps the glut of TV westerns in the late '50s and early '60s had something to do with it.

Based on a 1957 novel ("Desert Guns") by prolific western writer, Steve Frazee, "Gold of the Seven Saints" was the third collaboration between Clint Walker and director Gordon Douglas. Together they'd made "Fort Dobbs" in 1958 and "Yellowstone Kelly" in 1959. "Gold" is easily the best of the three, benefitting from Joe Biroc's impressive black-and-white photography and from the unforced camaraderie between taciturn Walker and talkative Moore. Despite their occasional squabbling, one senses an abiding affection between these two and thus one can understand why the beauteous Leticia Roman can't lure either of them away. Clint's famous 48" chest is briefly on display here in all its hirsute glory when he bathes in a large barrel but it's co-star Roger Moore who gets to sweat in the "beefacke-bondage" scene. Stripped to the waist and staked out on the ground, Moore has strips of wet rawhide tied around his chest -- strips which will shrink in the sun and thus "encourage" him to tell the bad guys where his gold is hidden.

(In Frazee's book an entire, freshly-cut hide is completely wrapped around the victim but doing so in the movie would probably cause the audience to go "Ick!" and besides, it'd hide Roger Moore's bare chest from view.)
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The eminently likable Clint Walker stars
audiemurph22 February 2012
Clint Walker probably does not jump to anyone's mind anymore when thinking about B-Western stars, but he is worth remembering. Although a mammoth of a man, his characters tend to be genial and soft-spoken - imagine an appealing combination of Paul Bunyan and Henry Fonda. Too bad he didn't make more Westerns than he did.

In "Gold of the Seven Saints", Walker and his partner Roger Moore are on the run, trying to escape basically everyone else, because the partners are carrying a large amount of gold that everyone wants a piece of. Walker never loses his cool when things go wrong, as they often do here. In a beautiful, and perhaps deliberate, contrast to the potential explosive violence contained in his titanic frame, Walker reacts to the wrong turns fate throws at him with a laconic acceptance that is pleasingly understated. His innately kindly and gentle personality always shines through. A very likable hero indeed.

I am not sure Roger Moore was the best pick for this Western. His accent keeps changing, especially early in the film, until at some point he is definitively identified as Irish. And he definitely comes in a distant second in the battle of the chests: Walker's massive upper body dominates the screen, and Moore's hairless average looking torso contrasts poorly.

The dialogue mostly avoids becoming to clichéd, and the action avoids unnecessary subplots, focusing relentlessly on Walker and Moore's striving to attain apparently unattainable safety and peace of mind. The camera-work is in spectacular black and white, with almost the whole movie shot outdoors in the desert, where majestic mesas and scrub brush dominate the landscape.

One interesting moment occurs when Chill Wills, having just induced the delivery of a baby by blowing snuff up the mother's nose, says something along the lines of "it is amazing what wonderful things you can do with snuff!" Fans of Terry Gilliam will recognize an eerie similarity between this line and the one Gilliam's Baron Munchaussen delivers, "I have found that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious!"

Overall, this is a fine and satisfying way to spend an hour and a half in the West.
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Die Rich...
Spikeopath23 June 2014
Gold of the Seven Saints is directed by Gordon Douglas and adapted to screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Leonard Freeman from Steve Frazee's novel. It stars Clint Walker, Roger Moore, Robert Middleton, Chill Wills and Leticia Roman. Filmed in Warnerscope, cinematography is by Joseph F. Biroc and the music is scored by Howard Jackson.

Jim Rainbolt (Walker) and Shaun Garrett (Moore) strike it rich and quickly find themselves pursued across the sun scorched lands by money hungry baddies...

OK! It's what can be termed as a poor man's Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It also has Roger Moore in a Western movie trying to do an Irish accent! And! It's also in black and white, which when you see how beautifully crisp Biroc's photography is - as the Utah landscapes scorch the eyes - seems such a waste of an opportunity. Yet there's a lot of fun here, some perky scripting and deftly staged action, even some genuine moments of suspense. While Chill Wills pops in for a dandy performance to please the Western faithful.

Leticia Roman is a token lady offering, the resolution is a bit of a damp squib, but Walker, Wills and Moore are darn fine company to be in, which in this case is enough to make time spent with this movie time well spent. 6.5/10
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How far will men go to pursue gold.
segstef7 October 2001
This movie is about two partners who encounter trouble as the try to take their gold to town to cash it in. They endure several hardships and their friendship is tested several times. I enjoyed the chemistry between Clint Walker and Roger Moore. Both actors showed their versatility in moving from light situations to more serious situations;their charisma made the movie. The plot was unlikely,an Irish cowboy traps furs with a westerner,they find gold,the Irish cowboy goes into town to steal two horses to carry the sacks of gold,he gets caught,is forced to buy one horse with a gold nugget and a chase is on.
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There's gold in that chest of Walker's
Poseidon-326 November 2002
This presumably standard little western has a touch more to it than one might expect. For one thing, it has the unusual pairing of towering western figure Walker and lean British actor Moore (sporting a grating Irish brogue.) Additionally, despite continual references to "pretty girls" and a showy role for lifted and separated Italian actress Roman, the movie is rife with homoerotic images and subtext! Walker and Moore play fur-trappers who have recently acquired 125 lbs of gold. Once word gets out that they're packing it across the desert, villains come out from under every rock to steal it. The pair have a sort of Batman and Robin dynamic with Moore (referred to as "kid" by Walker even though they are only months apart in age) trying hard to be a good partner, but inevitably running into trouble. Walker, as the wiser and stronger hero, must come to his rescue. Walker's first appearance in the film presents him as a monument that nearly dwarfs the surrounding Utah scenery. His beefy body is regularly placed in various Greco-Roman positions. He sprawls out under a rock for a nap while Moore lays his head at his feet looking upward. Later, in a scene with Wills (as a questionable doctor who's come to get in on the gold), Walker wields a phallic gun between his legs. He tells Wills that there is no one besides Moore who he'd rather "have my back." When the trio lands at Middleton's hacienda, Walker (in the film's highlight) takes a bath in a huge barrel and is scrubbed down by Roman as Moore looks on longingly (supposedly due to butt-swinging Roman, but the audience knows better!) A publicity shot for the film actually shows Moore spooning in this tub with Walker snugly behind him! This (probably staged just for fun) shot isn't in the movie. If it had been, the flick would have outgrossed "The Guns of Navarone" that year! A later shot of an ostensibly nude Walker asleep on his bunk has him lit like an archangel taking a nap. By now, Walker has crossed the line into the gay cowboy fantasy stratosphere! By the time Moore is stripped to the waist and tied to a rock (in another Batman-esque can almost hear an announcer ominously asking what will happen to our Boy Wonder) waiting for Walker to come and rescue him, Walker comes upon three skinny-dipping varmints, and then is asked to get on his belly with his granite behind on display, the film has taken on a whole new aspect. Moore (who should never be allowed to sing on film again) ekes out the final ditty (something to the effect of "if marriage is in store, I'm outta here") as the duo rides off together contentedly. The one major drawback to the film is its lack of color. The striking scenery and Walker's polar blue eyes deserved to be shot in vivid Technicolor. This was director Douglas' third time at bat with Walker, so he knew the value of Walker's treasure chest. Did Walker realize his own appeal and understand the way he was being presented? His gentle, "aw shucks" personality in interviews would suggest not. Thank God, however, that he exists on celluloid for later generations to appreciate.
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I think I am really a Gordon Douglas fan!
bigkingtut20007 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Too bad this movie was filmed in color. I think the visuals would have been magnificent and improved the overall acceptance of this movie. Basically, it's a poor man's version of The Treasure of Sierra Madre. The movie has a fine cast that features Clint Walker, a very young Roger Moore, Chill Wills, the venerable Joe Fuller company actor: Gene Evans, and the always first rate: Robert Middleton...who was really kind of wasted in this one. Walker and Moore are fur traders turned gold miners...that strike the big one. They need another pack horse to lug in their haul...and this is how the trouble starts when Moore pays with a gold nugget as he is caught trying to steal a horse. What then happens the boys try to bring in their haul...followed by some ominous characters led by Evans. The two are trapped and attacked by Evans crew..when Wills enters to save the day as a doctor, gunslinger, gun for hire...

If you could put things in perspective for the comparative between Treasure: Clint would be the Tim Holt character Moore, Bogey's Fred C Dobbs...with less psychological could tell they wanted to play that paranoid card with Moore but Douglas must have decided to downscale that angle. Wills would be the Walter Huston character Middleton the Mexican bandito...and Evans the more deceptive, murderous twist on the theme.

Anyway, the movie was very good and worthwhile viewing. The location shooting added to the movie and in color would have been glorious. For a Warner Bros movie that often reeked of other films footage spliced in to cut costs, this was a darn good western. Highly recommend seeing. I gave it a 7/10
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Entertaining if light western riff on "Treasure of the Sierra Madre"
a_chinn2 January 2018
Western knock-off of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" is entertaining if not as brilliant as it's source material. Clint Walker and Robert more find 125 pounds of gold nuggets and are on the run across the desert from various factions also wanting the gold. Walker is serviceable as the lead (I always thought he'd be perfectly cast as The Punisher), but it's a young Roger Moore (even before his breakthrough role as Simon Templar in "The Saint") who really brings life to the picture as a wily Irishman. It's nothing brilliant that you haven't seen before in any number of other western, but it's all done well and was never boring. Co-written by the great Leigh Brackett, who's worked on everything from "The Big Sleep" to "Rio Bravo" to "The Empire Strikes Back."
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Unsaintly Pursuit
bnwfilmbuff6 January 2018
Mildly entertaining story of a couple of prospectors being dogged by a group of bandits in hot pursuit for their gold. There is good chemistry between Moore and Walker throughout the film as the prospectors. Gene Evans as the leader of the bad guys is the standout in the cast. The cinematography of the desert southwest is magnificent. Overall a movie that will keep your interest with some good twists. Recommended if you're in the mood for a Western.
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Well Acted, Stupidist Crook In Western History
DKosty1232 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Clint Walker, Roger Moore and Chill Wills head up a pretty decent cast in this Warner Brothers feature. While it works okay, the biggest hole in it is the crook McCracken. While he is made to look smart once, he is one of the stupidist crooks ever to grace a Western Screen. Of course he is not supposed to be the stupid one, he just happens to be it.

Roger Moore who was working for Warners on Maverick got drafted into this third effort to make Walker (tvs Cheyenne) into a bankable movie star. He is Jim Rainbolt (Walker's) partner Shaun Garrett(Moore). Garrett gets off to a bad start when he gets caught stealing a horse, and mistakenly pays for the horse with a gold nugget. Then he leads McCracken and his gang to Rainbolt and their large load of gold. Thus begins a pursuit that lasts most of the film.

Chill Wills-Doc Wilson Gates, MD, is quite effective as an ally to Rainbold and Garrett. Gene Evans is McCracken, a very stupid crook. Letícia Román-Tita Gondora's 'Ward' and Robert Middleton as Amos Gondora are allies and enemies of Raiboldt. An amusing scene has Walker in a bath tub with Leticia giving him a back scrub. Moore has a strange accent throughout this film.

The road trip is supposed to be too seven saints and the pursuit by everyone is dogged and determined to steal these guys gold. While the film has some nice Monument Valley locations used, the black and white wide screen print of Warner's is okay, not outstanding. That sums up this western too, okay but not great.
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Camino a Siete Santos
Edgar Soberon Torchia24 November 2015
There are many ways to "read" this film: for some it is a poor man's "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", for others a simple western, to a few an antecedent of "Brokeback Mountain" (and when considering it as such, these two cowboys surely had more sense of humor than the latter couple), the third installment of a Douglas-Walker western trilogy… they all are valid, and it also fits in one kind of film that somehow stresses me: "the desert trap film". There are comedies of this type (as "The Gods Must Be Crazy), but I refer to those dramas in which characters are literally trapped in a desert or a snow-covered steppe, where they suffer the inclemency of the weather of these extreme locations during all the running time. In the sub-category "desert", you find, for example, "The King Is Alive", "The Flight of the Phoenix", the Mexican "Viento negro" and even indoors plots as "The Wind"; and in "snow", there are "Quintet", "The Thing" or "Never Cry Wolf". In "Gold of the Seven Saints", Clint Walker and Roger Moore never leave the dry lands in their intent to take a fortune in gold to the town Seven Saints, some kind of nowhere land in the 19th century. During the trip they have some well-written and finely-delivered manly conversations, but for 35 minutes everything is slow and low key until Chil Wills as a "medicine man" enters and delivers action, and later Robert Middleton and Leticia Román in costume add some Mexican chili to the events. There is nothing special about this film, but somehow it works. Walker projects a pleasant personality, while Moore is surprisingly funny as his Irish companion. Gordon Douglas is a director with no following, but I like a few of his works, as the hilarious "Zombies on Broadway", the science-fiction movie "Them!", the off- beat western "Rio Conchos", and now I add this one.
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Disappointingly dull!
JohnHowardReid13 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Photographed in black-and-white anamorphic WarnerScope (advertised as CinemaScope in Australia). Producer: Leonard Freeman. Copyright 18 February 1961 by Warner Bros Pictures. New York opening at neighborhood cinemas as the lower half of a double bill with "The Sins of Rachel Cade": 5 April 1961. U.S. release: 1 February 1961. U.K. release: 30 July 1961. Australian release: 8 March 1962. 89 minutes. Censored in both Britain and Australia to 87 minutes in order to qualify for Universal/General Exhibition certificates. Cut by the studio to 83 minutes in the U.S.A. in order to accommodate bookings on double bills.

SYNOPSIS: Two hardy young trappers — Rainbolt (Clint Walker) and Shaun Garrett (Roger Moore) — ride across the badlands to the wide- open town of Seven Saints to enjoy the fortune they've found in gold nuggets. They soon realize they are being followed by McCracken (Gene Evans) and his gang, who won't stop at killing to get their hands on the gold. Outnumbered, Rainbolt and Shaun press on, fighting dust and desert heat.

NOTES: Location scenes filmed in south-eastern Utah — Moab, The Arches National Monument, the Colorado River, Dead Horse Point, the LaSal Mountains and the nearby desert.


COMMENT: This western has some good things going for it:— a capable cast including Gene Evans as a ruthless "businessman" and Robert Middleton (a bit out of character but fairly effective nonetheless) as an amiable Mexican bandit; some impressive location scenery; skillful (though not as imaginative as we have come to expect) direction and grade "A" production credits.

What the movie lacks is a script that holds the attention throughout. True, it starts off in a lively fashion and the initial situations are full of promise, but interest is dissipated by the introduction of irrelevant episodes (the baby, the fiesta, the bath) which not only make the movie seem far too drawn out, but the action spots too few and far between.
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Not Gold but Worth it
Richie-67-48585230 December 2017
I like Clint Walker and roger Moore before he was 007 was interesting to see. I also like westerns, horses, gold, good and bad guys, dust, thirst, watching greed act out and guys guzzling booze. After all, this is a Western. Give it a shot
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Lackluster Western with Good Performances and Scenery
zardoz-135 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Actor Clint Walker and seasoned sagebrush director Gordon Douglas teamed up for a third time for "Gold of the Seven Saints" and this time future James Bond actor Roger Moore played Walker's impetuous sidekick. Warner Brothers lensed this dusty western around scenic Moab, Utah, where John Ford made some of his most memorable westerns. The spectacular scenery is a treat to look at even if lenser Joseph F. Biroc had to shoot it in black and white. Walker and Moore respectively play fur trappers Jim Rainbolt and Shaun Garrett. Unlike other Walker westerns, our brawny hero is cast as a peaceable fellow in this sprawling sagebrusher rather than a six-gun toting jasper. He carries a Winchester repeating rifle and never wears a six-gun cinched around his waist. Basically, Walker plays Walker, an imposing gent with a rich baritone voice. Meanwhile, Roger Moore sports an Irish accent and his actions get Rainbolt and he in trouble in "Big Sleep" scenarist Leigh Brackett who derived her screenplay from the Steve Frazee western novel "Desert Guns." Since I haven't read the Frazee novel, I cannot attest to the fidelity of the Douglas western to its source material. Nevertheless, this adventure occurs largely outdoors with an occasional set. Our heroes find themselves blessed with the discovery of 250 pounds of gold, but they are short on horses. Shaun tries to steal them a horse in a nearby town but he gets caught red-handed. The Mexican vaquero who catches him agrees to release him if he will ante up some money. Reluctantly as well as desperately, Shaun hands over a gold nugget and gets out of the corral with a horse and his life. The vaquero's supervisor, McCracken (Gene Evans of "The Steel Helmet"), keeps him from shooting Shaun in the back. Shaun realizes the error of his ways when he reports back to his partner about the circumstances under which he acquired the horse. Throughout the remainder of this trim 88 minute oater, Jim and Shaun flee from killers who would deprive them of their gold as well as their lives. The ending is reminiscent of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre."
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"Well we can run, or we can stay and fight".
classicsoncall5 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
"Gold of the Seven Saints" is such a cool sounding title for a Western that it's a shame the movie failed to live up to the mystery. I still can't get used to the idea of Roger Moore in a horse opera, and in this one he's not even asked to mask his English accent, instead going for a hearty Irish brogue. His character Shaun Garrett teams up with laconic TV Western star Clint Walker, an unlikely duo who discover gold and attempt to haul a hundred forty five pounds of it across the desert to the safety of the title town - that would be where the Seven Saints part of the story comes in. Midway, the pair hook up with Chill Wills in what might be the most serious role I've seen him in, that of a doctor who quite intentionally joins the boys hoping to offer his knowledge and services in exchange for a fair share of the bundle.

I think it all sounds a lot better on paper than it does in the execution. Though there are a couple of shoot-outs with Gene Evans' gang of outlaws, I never got the impression that Rainbolt (Walker) and Garrett were ever in too much trouble, even when McCracken's (Evans) men kidnap Doc and Garrett in a ransom move. It made me wonder why they didn't go for Senorita Tita (Leticia Roman), that might have been the more suspenseful alternative. Even Robert Middleton's hearty portrayal of Rainbolt's old Mexican friend seems a throwaway by the finale. His half hearted challenge to Rainbolt to split the gold is swept under the rug, or under the river as it were, in a move reminiscent of "Treasure of the Sierra Madre". But this was no Sierra Madre, with a result that didn't convey the same power and irony of that earlier Bogart classic.
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