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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

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Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.

Director:

Joshua Logan

Writers:

Alan Jay Lerner (book), Alan Jay Lerner (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... Ben Rumson
Clint Eastwood ... Pardner
Jean Seberg ... Elizabeth
Harve Presnell ... Rotten Luck Willie
Ray Walston ... Mad Jack Duncan
Tom Ligon ... Horton Fenty
Alan Dexter Alan Dexter ... Parson
William O'Connell ... Horace Tabor
Benny Baker ... Haywood Holbrook (as Ben Baker)
Alan Baxter ... Mr. Fenty
Paula Trueman ... Mrs. Fenty
Robert Easton ... Atwell
Geoffrey Norman Geoffrey Norman ... Foster
H.B. Haggerty ... Steve Bull
Terry Jenkins Terry Jenkins ... Joe Mooney
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Storyline

A Michigan farmer and a prospector form a partnership in the California gold country. Their adventures include buying and sharing a wife, hijacking a stage, kidnaping six prostitutes, and turning their mining camp into a boomtown. Along the way there is plenty of drinking, gambling, and singing. They even find time to do some creative gold mining. Written by David J. Kiseleski <davidk269@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lee Marvin Sings! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 October 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La leyenda de la ciudad sin nombre See more »

Filming Locations:

Baker, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$31,678,778
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The play was produced on Broadway in 1951, and was one of the two properties Louis B. Mayer took with him after being ousted from MGM. Advancing age, and the fact that Mayer had been removed from actual film production for 30+ years, rendered him unable to get it underway as a film. See more »

Goofs

When the group is discussing buying one of the Mormon's wives Tabor who is against the purchase of her for a wife declares that she is a married woman and Holbrook states "No she isn't! We don't recognize plural marriages in California!". But they do later when Mrs. Rumson comes up with the idea to marry pardner too. However, it was earlier stated in the film that Elizabeth is married to Ben Rumson through the governing of mining law, which also covers the point that mining partners get equal share of what is recognized by mining law as their claim. The Rumsons and Pardner use the latter fact as a loophole to justify the plural marriage. See more »

Quotes

Horton: Mr. Rumson, I swore I wouldn't tell anyone. I hope that means except my father and mother.
Ben Rumson: That means especially your father and mother.
Horton: But I've never kept anything from them before.
Ben Rumson: Well, it's time you started. Because when you do, a whole new world opens up.
See more »

Alternate Versions

On its release to what were then called "neighborhood theatres" (i.e. theatres which showed films that had ended their first runs downtown), the film's running time was shortened by having three songs eliminated, "I Still See Elisa", "The First Thing You Know", and "Gold Fever". This left both Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood with only one solo song each. The film was restored to its original length for its first television showing, and has remained that way ever since. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Hand Me Down That Can Of Beans
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Sung by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lee Marvin & The Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

"A Happily-Married ... Triple"
14 August 2000 | by stryker-5See all my reviews

Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin - in a musical? Yes, and it works rather well.

No expense was spared by Paramount in assembling the behind-camera talent. Lerner and Loewe's successful stage show was beefed up by Andre Previn's compositions and Nelson Riddle's arrangements, and a script by Paddy Chayefsky. If Clint and Lee aren't exactly Mario Lanza and Tito Gobbi, they are good enough. Clint sings timidly but tunefully ("I Talk To The Trees", "Gold Fever") and Marvin's growly "Wandering Star" was a big chart success back in 1969. The songs are strong, the lyrics clever and the choreography slick and busy. At two and three-quarter hours, the film is rather too long, but it contains plenty of interesting things, including some excellent comedy.

No-Name Town is a rough and ready prospectors' settlement, one of many such ramshackle communities springing up during the California Gold Rush. Two very different men link up as partners and grow into inseperable friends. 'Pardner' (Eastwood) is a straight, solid farmer from the Mid West, while Ben Rumson (Marvin) is a hell-raising wildman from no place in particular. When a mormon auctions one of his wives (Elizabeth, played by Jean Seberg), Rumson buys her. Things get complicated when Pardner falls in love with Elizabeth, and she falls in love with .... er, both men.

Added interest is provided by the arrival of a bunch of French whores and a party of rescued wagon-trainers (this last was drawn from a true story).

Good things include a barnstorming performance from Marvin, radiating enormous personality and a real flair for comedy. His career flowered late, but he was at his best in the late sixties ("Point Blank", "Hell In The Pacific", and of course this one). Previn's musical interlude which introduces the Parson (Alan Dexter) is superb, leading into one of the film's best songs, "Here It Is". The comical discords of the musical passage are a joy in themselves, and they pave the way perfectly for the Parson, who is at odds with everybody. "Hand Me Down That Can Of Beans" is rendered by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, guesting in the movie. The boys obviously decided to stay on, because they crop up in various shots throughout the film. Mad Jack is played with manic zest and a peculiar British accent by Ray Walston, none other than TV's "My Favourite Martian".

The interminable gag of the collapsing tunnels stand as a metaphor of the film's shortcomings - over-elaborate, and over-long.


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