5.6/10
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14 user 5 critic

Waco (1966)

Passed | | Western | 1 September 1966 (USA)
A lawless town asks the state governor to pardon an imprisoned gunfighter in order to hire him as sheriff but various factions plan to kill the new sheriff and take over the town.

Director:

R.G. Springsteen

Writers:

Harry Sanford (novel), Max Lamb (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Keel ... Waco
Jane Russell ... Jill Stone
Brian Donlevy ... Ace Ross
Wendell Corey ... Preacher Sam Stone
Terry Moore ... Dolly
John Smith ... Joe Gore
John Agar ... George Gates
Gene Evans ... Deputy Sheriff Jim O'Neill
Richard Arlen ... Sheriff Billy Kelly
Ben Cooper ... Scotty Moore
Tracy Olsen Tracy Olsen ... Patricia West
DeForest Kelley ... Bill Rile
Anne Seymour ... Ma Jenner
Robert Lowery ... Mayor Ned West
Willard Parker ... Pete Jenner
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Storyline

Preacher Sam Stone and his new beautiful wife Jill stand by the grave of Sheriff Billy Kelly, who died trying to bring law-and-order to Emporia, Wyoming. Among the mourners are businessman George Gates, mayor Ned West and his daughter Patricia. The mayor rejects Gates' suggestion that he release gunfighter Waco from jail to clean up the town. When Patricia is attacked by a cowboy after leaving her boyfriend Scotty Moore, the mayor finally decides it is time accept the governor;s offer of amnesty for Waco. Jill Stone's first reaction, when learning that Waco has been released, is to leave town before Waco finds out that she, his former fiancée, has married the town preacher while Waco was in jail. Town boss Joe Gore is not overjoyed, either, but Ike and Pete Jenner eagerly await the chance to shoot Waco for the death of their brother. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They let him out of jail - to kill for them! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 September 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wyoming-Bravados See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

A.C. Lyles Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original Pressbook publicity announcement: MAJOR MUSIC SPECIAL - Lorne Greene Records "Waco": In a major music promotion for Paramount's "Waco", Lorne Greene has recorded the title song for an RCA Victor Records single being released in coordination with the general release of the film. Greene, star of TV's famed Bonanza (1959), has recorded the Hal Blair-Jimmie Haskell number in a style highly reminiscent of his successful "Ringo". The "Waco" platter will be given heavy disc-jockey coverage and retail promotion throughout the country. See more »

Quotes

Waco: [he sniffs the air] Ain't much wind to speak of - so the stink can't be blowing in from the stables!
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Soundtracks

Waco
Lyrics by Hal Blair
Music by Jimmie Haskell
Sung by Lorne Greene
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User Reviews

 
Only way to get rid of vermin is to delouse them.
5 December 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Waco is directed by R.G. Springsteen and adapted to screenplay by Steve Fisher from the novel Emporia written by Max Lamb and Harry Sandford. It stars Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy, Wendell Corey, Terry Moore and John Agar. Music is by Jimmie Haskell and cinematography by Robert Pittack.

Gunfighter Waco (Keel) is given a pardon from his jail term to go clean up the town of Emporia.

Released in 1966 but feeling like it belongs in an earlier decade, Waco is a poor Western. As most Western fans will tell you, the "B" Western has its place in the heart and can quite often bring enjoyable rewards when the mood fits, unfortunately Waco is bad film making all round. Everything about it is tired, it's like it's desperately clinging on to the glory Western days of the 50s but doesn't know how to grasp with any conviction.

Filmed in Technicolor and Techniscope, not that you will notice, from the very beginning where Lorne Greene sings a cheese sandwich theme tune, film plays out as some sort of amateur dramatics production. Keel thinks he's in a hard-boiled film noir and voices it as such, often resorting to auto-cue line reading, and Donlevy shows up after an hour looking awful and literally doing a cameo to pay for his next bottle of Rye. Russell doesn't fare much better, phoning it in and the most memorable thing about her input is her bullet brassier!

The action is poorly constructed, with the big shoot-out proving to be more along the lines of a Keystone Cops skit, Haskell's music is simply rubbish, while what interesting character threads are in the story are sadly given short shrift by the writers (for example Corey's Reverend is briefly noted to have been part of Quantrill's Raiders). There's a level of glib humour about Keel's performance that keeps it just about watchable, while his indestructible capabilities makes him come over as a Captain Scarlet of the West. But really he's never convincing as a tough mutha and that just about sums up what an out of time Oater this is. 3/10


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