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El Dorado (1967)

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Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Leigh Brackett (screenplay), Harry Brown (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Cole Thornton
Robert Mitchum ... El Dorado Sheriff J.P. Harrah
James Caan ... Mississippi
Charlene Holt ... Maudie
Paul Fix ... Dr. Miller
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Bull
Michele Carey ... Josephine (Joey) MacDonald
R.G. Armstrong ... Kevin MacDonald
Edward Asner ... Bart Jason
Christopher George ... Nelse McLeod
Marina Ghane ... Maria
Robert Donner ... Milt
John Gabriel ... Pedro
Johnny Crawford ... Luke MacDonald
Robert Rothwell ... Saul MacDonald
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Storyline

Hired gunman Cole Thornton turns down a job with Bart Jason as it would mean having to fight an old sheriff friend. Some months later he finds out the lawman is on the bottle and a top gunfighter is heading his way to help Jason. Along with young Mississippi, handy with a knife and now armed with a diabolical shotgun, Cole returns to help. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Range War! A lawless time when no man dares turn his back... even to a friend! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

12 June 1967 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Eldorado See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,653,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,971,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening credits feature a montage of original paintings that depict various scenes of cowboy life in the Old West. The artist was Olaf Wieghorst, who appears in the film as the Gunsmith, Swede Larsen. See more »

Goofs

The girl in the window who informs Mississippi that the three men they are looking for are in the old church is smoking a cigarette. Women did not begin smoking cigarettes until the 1920s when cigarette companies began marketing to women in order to increase sales. See more »

Quotes

Mississippi: [about Joey] She was really gonna shoot that fella.
Cole: She shot me.
Mississippi: She shot... uh... 'n that somethin'...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Possibly due to their fame, the closing cast list does not bill John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ghost Chase (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
(uncredited)
By Michael William Balfe
[From 'The Bohemian Girl'. Played on the saloon piano]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
As entertaining as a western could be.
20 August 2006 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

It's hard not to smile as you watch this film play itself out. There are just too many fine actors and top notch performances contained in this film for it to be anything but outstanding. Howard Hawks knows just how to harness this story and give each actor room enough to strut his stuff.

John Wayne plays a hired gun who comes to the aid of a drunken sheriff played to perfection by Robert Mitchum. By Wayne's side is a young man (James Caan) packing a nasty scatter-gun, and also at their disposal is a grizzled Indian fighter deputy (Arthur Hunnicutt). The four do battle with an evil land owner (Ed Asner), his hired gun (Christopher George), and several other gunslingers looking for trouble. A rival family of landowners named the MacDonalds are being pressured by Asner and his cronies. Wayne and Co. take their side, and all hell breaks loose in El Dorado.

The film is crisply paced, well-written, and the acting as good as you might expect. Even actors like Caan and Asner who might seem out of their element fit right in and hold their own. Wayne is as watchable as ever. It's a treat just to hear him say the word "Mississippi" every time he refers to Caan. Mitchum has the more demanding of the two lead roles, and it's no wonder Wayne wanted that role for himself. The toughest thing our heroes are faced with is sobering him up as he has become the laughing stock of the town he is supposed to protect. Arthur Hunnicutt, as Mitchum's deputy, seems to get a lot of the good lines and more than proves his worth when things get tough. Another person who stands out is Michele Carey who portrays one of the MacDonald clan. I'd never really heard of her before, but the woman is stunningly beautiful. She plays a resourceful woman out to kick some Asner butt.

Between the numerous shootouts, there are wonderful scenes where you can tell the stars are just happy to stand together in front of the camera. There are a few scenes that really weren't beaten to death by the genre and actually look original. A shootout involving church bells was something I hadn't seen before, though I'm hardly an expert in western lore. I wouldn't be surprised to find that someone had done it before, but it really worked in this film. Also, it was neat to see Caan blow some of the bad guys to shreds with his shotgun. That was an under-utilized weapon in old western films. His brief impersonation of a Chinaman is bound to offend some, but it's actually quite entertaining.

If you love a good western, you must not miss El Dorado. Even if you don't normally watch them, you might also find it more than worth your time.

9 of 10 stars.

The Hound.


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