The story of a man who was shot, robbed and imprisoned who returns to steal a large gold shipment from the man who wronged him. The gold is transported in an armored stage coach, the War Wagon.


Burt Kennedy


Clair Huffaker (screenplay), Clair Huffaker (novel)
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Taw Jackson
Kirk Douglas ... Lomax
Howard Keel ... Levi Walking Bear
Robert Walker Jr. ... Billy Hyatt (as Robert Walker)
Keenan Wynn ... Wes Fletcher
Bruce Cabot ... Frank Pierce
Joanna Barnes ... Lola
Valora Noland ... Kate
Bruce Dern ... Hammond
Gene Evans ... Deputy Hoag
Terry Wilson ... Sheriff Strike
Don Collier ... Shack
Sheb Wooley ... Snyder
Ann McCrea Ann McCrea ... Felicia
Emilio Fernández ... Calita (as Emilio Fernandez)


Taw Jackson returns from prison having survived being shot, to the ranch and gold that Frank Pierce stole from him. Jackson makes a deal with Lomax, the man who shot him 5 years ago to join forces against Pierce and steal a large gold shipment. The shipments are transported in the War Wagon, an armored stage coach that is heavily guarded. The two of them become the key players in the caper to separate Pierce from Jackson's gold. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The War Wagon Rolls And The Screen Explodes! See more »




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas was paid 300,000 dollars, plus ten percent of the gross. See more »


The view through the back window of the war wagon is in black and white. See more »


[first lines]
Hoag: Sheriff! Taw Jackson's back in town!
Sheriff Strike: You sure?
Hoag: Well, he's ridin' down the street right now, big as life.
See more »


Featured in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »


Ballad Of The War Wagon
Sung by Ed Ames
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyric by Ned Washington
See more »

User Reviews

Another solid John Wayne film, with Kirk Douglas thrown in
27 February 1999 | by MartaSee all my reviews

Solid entertainment in the Wayne style, as John and Kirk team up to liberate a gazillion bars of gold from Bruce Cabot, the man who stole Wayne's ranch and goldmine. John Wayne is in fine form as usual; Kirk is equally fine as the hired gun who is willing to doublecross Cabot. Kirk shows a fine comic ability as he taunts both Cabot and Wayne. You can tell he's having a good time in the film; each time he grins it makes me laugh.

Keenan Wynn is pretty unlikable as one of Cabot's men who is on Wayne's side, but then his character is supposed to be unlikable. Robert Walker Jr. is nervous and unsure as the explosives expert that Wayne met in prison. Howard Keel is new to the John Wayne guild, but he's a welcome addition. Always a great comic actor, he is wonderful as Wayne's indian friend who continually needs to be rescued from his own ineptitude. Bruce Dern has a juicy but small role as one of Cabot's hired guns; he throws big toothy grins about and has a lot of fun with his job.

Pure action entertainment, and also a lot of fun. Pick up this film on the new DVD widescreen version; it's a great way to watch it.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 May 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The War Wagon See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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