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Paint Your Wagon (1969)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 15 October 1969 (USA)
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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 »
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 ... 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

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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

Initially, Joshua Logan wanted Mickey Rooney, James Cagney and Lesley Ann Warren for the leads. While not huge box office draws in 1969, they at least had musical experience. Which is more can be said for the actual stars. See more »

Goofs

While working in the "mine", Ben Rumson can clearly be seen wearing a carbide lamp. Carbide lamps were not developed until 1892, but the movie is set in 1849. See more »

Quotes

Rumson: I'm an ex-citizen of nowhere, and sometimes I get mighty homesick.
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 M*A*S*H: They Call the Wind Korea (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Gold Fever
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by André Previn
Sung by Clint Eastwood & The Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Forgotten and a little misunderstood
29 December 2017 | by NateWatchesCoolMoviesSee all my reviews

I've never understood the cloud of negativity surrounding Paint Your Wagon, a terminally eccentric, raucously bawdy musical western epic in which old school tough guys Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood get to sing, or at least do their best. Sure it's a giant unwieldy spectacle, not all of the songs make a three point landing and it runs on far too long, but it's such an interesting piece from many perspectives, it doesn't deserve even half the shade thrown on it by critics over the years. I like it specifically because of how odd and random it is at times, how it meanders and lingers across the gold rush frontier town it takes place in, following the paths of it's strange characters diligently. Marvin is the life of the party as Ben Rumson, a booze soaked, misanthropic prospector idling his way through the west in a haze of hangovers and hijinks. Eastwood is Pardner, a soft spoken stoic type whose life is saved by Ben, and the two strike a bond that's eventually tested by Elizabeth (Jean Seberg), the beauty who loves them both. The trio makes the best of life in a rough n' tumble settlement called No Name City, a feverish shantytown on the precipice of nowhere, populated by scoundrels, miscreants and hooligans. And that's pretty much it, the story punctuated by a whole gallery of songs, some brilliant and others excruciating. The best is a haunting, melancholy melody by Marvin called 'Wandering Star', which is so good it could be listened to on repeat. 'They Call The Wind Mariah' is a gorgeous tune belted out by a young looking Harve Presnell as Rotten Luck Willie, a slick kingpin who basically runs the township. 'There's a Coach Comin In' rouses spirits, and the titular theme is well staged too. Unfortunately all of the songs sung solely by Eastwood are a slog through the mud, as he bleats like a goat and gets saddled with the most boring tracks like 'I Talk To The Trees', the sappy 'Elisa' and 'Gold Fever', a musical sleeping pill. Whenever Marvin is around it's a banger of a party, he goes the extra mile to keep the energy levels unbridled, while Eastwood is a little sleepier. There's no way the film deserves the dodgy reputation it's been slapped with though, a lot of it is fun as all hell, the big budget is spent well on fantastic production design, epic sets and big names who earn their keep, Marvin in particular.


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