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The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Not Rated | | Western | 16 August 1965 (Brazil)
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Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... John Elder
... Tom Elder
... Mary Gordon
... Bud Elder
... Matt Elder
... Ben Latta
... Morgan Hastings
... Sheriff Billy Wilson
... Curley
... Dave Hastings
Sheldon Allman ... Harry Evers
... Minister
... Hyselman
... Mr. Vennar
... Charlie Striker
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Storyline

The Elder boys return to Clearwater, Texas for their Mother's funeral. John the eldest is a well known gunfighter and trouble follows him wherever he goes. The boys try to get back their ranch from the town's gunsmith who won it from their father in a card game at which he was shortly murdered after, but not before getting through the troubles that come with the Elders name. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If Texas coundn't tame 'em ...could she? See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1965 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Die vier Söhne der Katie Elder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$6,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,000,000, 31 December 1965
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Cash sang a song in 1965 also called "The Sons of Katie Elder". Elmer Bernstein (who did the music for the film) and Ernie Sheldon wrote the song. See more »

Goofs

The boxes of shells that Charlie is putting on the desk keep changing position. See more »

Quotes

Mary Gordon: I hate to break in on your grief, but you'll need some food. Katie asked me to look in on you, if you came to the funeral.
John Elder: That's mighty nice of you, ma'am.
Mary Gordon: I wasn't doing it for you, or any of you. I'm doing it because Katie asked me to. She liked that rocker.
John Elder: She seemed to have confided a great deal in you, Miss Gordon.
Mary Gordon: If she'd had her sons around her she wouldn't have had to confide in strangers. She told me what fine men you were, never forgetting her, sending her money, helping her send ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining Wayne Oater!
17 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

"The Sons of Katie Elder", though not one of John Wayne's best westerns, is very entertaining nonetheless. Director Henry Hathaway keeps the story moving providing us with breathtaking scenery and a rousing finale. We are also treated to another rousing score from composer Elmer Bernstien.

The story has the four Elder brothers, John (Wayne), Tom (Dean Martin), Matt (Earl Holliman) and Bud (Michael Anderson Jr.) returning home to Clearwater, Texas for their mother's funeral (the "Katie" of the title). It seems that Katie had been held in reverence by the townspeople while eking out a living to enable the youngest, Bud to attend college.

Their father had also died six months earlier and had apparently lost the family ranch in a poker game. Further investigation reveals that he had been murdered by being shot in the back.

Number one suspect is the town gunsmith Morgan Hastings (James Gregory). Hastings it seems, has acquired the Elder ranch and lives there with his spineless son Dave (Dennis Hopper). Hastings has also hired gunfighter Curley (George Kennedy) to help him get rid of the Elders.

When town sheriff Billy Watson (Paul Fix) is murdered Deputy Ben Latta (Jeremy Slate) immediately blames the Elders and arrests them. While transporting his prisoners to another venue they are ambushed and.......

This was the first film for Wayne following his surgery for cancer. You'll notice that he wears a large bandanna over his neck, presumably to hide the scars and/or the jowls. He was now beginning to show his age and the fact that at nearing age 60, he was still playing a character presumably much younger, kind of detracts a little from his credibility in the role. But hey its John Wayne. Who really cared?

As in most of Wayne's films, the cast includes a roster of recognizable faces. Martha Hyer provides window dressing as Wayne's potential love interest. Also in the cast are John Qualen as the jailer, John Litel as the minister, John Doucette as the undertaker, James Westerfield as the banker, Karl Swenson as the bartender, Rhys Williams as Striker the horse rancher, Strother Martin as the guy who "wins" Martin's glass eye, Percy Helton as the storekeeper and Rudolfo Acosta and Chuck Roberson as contends.

The two plus hour running time goes by quickly. Don't miss the scene where Wayne cold cocks Kennedy or the final shootout.


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