Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.
I love the depth of the dialogue and the nitty gritty reality of the mindsets of those prospectors who took from life what they needed and created their own utopian world (or tried to)...and ironically were sad (inside)even though there was uproarious drinking and carousing...which characterizes man self destructive nature when left to himself to do as he pleases...not unlike ancient rome.
lee marvin played the lead role so well...it was almost as if it had been written for him...even surpassing his clever coolness of a similar character "a #1" (emperor of the north...a film about the great depression hobos)
in paint your wagon so much of man's delemia is characterized in dialogue about growing up, doing what feels good, and paying the price for such behavior later.....the grim reminder of man's struggle with his own self can best be shown in the scene with ben rumson as he takes an assessment of his life in a few brief words to holmbrook (the mediator)...."there are two kinds of people....them going somewhere and them going nowhere....I'm an exodus to nowhere....sometimes I get mighty homesick"....then you hear the profound lyrics to the song "born under a wander star" where even the most blessed place one can get will never be satisfying enough to make these kinds of folk want to stay.
another heady piece is the scene with clint singing "gold fever" and how greed will turn people into a total different character from what they were before the fever hit....
this movie has a lot of heavy thoughts and depth even though it is a great comedy film...it's the reason it is my favorite movie of all times....really cool characters....outrageous comedy....mind provoking dialogue...and a nostalgic soundtrack that will take you back to the fifties....
as for the bad rap on lee marvins singing...just how great would those songs have come off if he had had an operatic baritone with perfect pitch?...in a word...fake.
- Aug 17, 2004