El Dorado (1967)

Director: Howard Hawks

Writer: Leigh Brackett (Screenplay) Harry Brown (Novel)

Starring: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Paul Fix, Arthur Hunnicutt, Michele Carey

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – Range War! A lawless time when no man dares turn his back… even to a friend!

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Western

 

Story: El Dorado starts when Sheriff Harrah (Mitchum) turns to his former gunslinger partner Cole Thornton (Wayne) for assistance against a ruthless rancher Bart Jason (Asner) who wants to force another rancher off their land.

Cole meets a young man Mississippi (Caan) that proves he can handle himself in a fight, which sees him continue to build a team to take down Bart Jason once and for all.

 

Thoughts on El Dorado

 

Characters – Cole Thornton is the gunslinger for hire, he doesn’t mind which side of the law he works as long as he gets paid, his loyalty comes back to show that sometimes he doesn’t get bought, when his old friend comes asking for help, he will help people he does believe are getting into trouble for the right reasons and will fight for the people next to the people he trusts the most. Sheriff J.P. Harrah turns to his old friend for help, only to see him turn to the bottle after failing to help on the levels he most requires. Mississippi is the young bounty hunter that is deadly with a knife, he will need to use a gun if he is to work with Cole, who he wants to learn from.

PerformancesJohn Wayne is one of the most famous actors for westerns, he really is a commanding presence on screen even if he doesn’t always hit up the most realistic acting. Robert Mitchum gives us a performance that gets laughs at time and easily goes through the biggest arc through the film. James Caan does well when he gets his time to shine, though he does get overshadowed in places.

StoryThe story follows two men from either sides of the law that team up to take down a rancher and his men that are causing problems in the town. When it comes to westerns nearly every single story is the same, the law makers and reluctant gun for hire joins forces to take on a troublesome group of ranchers or outlaws or something, this is everything we have seen before without needing to offer anything new to the mix. We get a time jump which does come randomly which does disappoint too. We do have a mentor like position which ends up falling short in the way everything pans out.

Romance/WesternThere is meant to be a romance angle in this film which doesn’t seem very interesting in anyway, the western side of the film is everything you are expecting it to be without taking away any of the normal western traits.

SettingsThe film is set in the normal western towns which feels like the sets most likely were used in other films too.


Scene of the Movie –
Drunk J.P.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is just like every other western.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book western, it is easy to follow with stronger performances, but just offers nothing new to the genre.

 

Overall: Simple Western.

Rating

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – The Quiet Man (1952)

Director: John Ford

Writer: Frank S Nugent (Screenplay) Maurice Walsh (Story)

Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Francis Ford

 

Plot: A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.


Tagline –  Action…Excitement…Romance…Fill the Screen !

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not for the Modern Audience

 

Story: The Quiet Man starts when American Sean Thornton (Watne) returns to Ireland and the town where he was raised, the locals are not impressed with his appearance because he looks to buy a house that Will Danaher (McLaglen) is interested in and takes a shine to his sister Mary Kate Danaher (O’Hara).

When Sean wins Mary Kate’s heart and hand in a horse racing competition they are allowed to date and joined by Michaleen Oge Flynn (Fitzgerald) to watch who must watch over their time together,

 

Thoughts on The Quiet Man

 

Characters – Sean Thornton is an American with a secret past which comes to Ireland to return to his childhood home, he wants to settle down and escape the nightmare moment in his past. Mary Kate is the lady Sean falls in love with even if it means to she loses her fortune.

PerformancesThe performances from John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are good throughout the film as we get to see what Wayne does best with his dominating behaviour and what Maureen does to try and make herself stand out in the industry.

StoryThe story follows a man that wants to start a new life in the place where he started his life and away from the spotlight which caused him the pain in his life, here he falls in love and must learn to deal with traditions of this new land. This does make sense for the time of the film because the news of what caused Sean to leave America wouldn’t be easy to see spread, unlike the modern era, it does keep things simple throughout too.

Comedy/RomanceWe do get moments of comedy in this film, mostly from how the supporting villagers deal with the stranger, the romance is clear for us as we see the two’s romance unfold.

SettingsThe film takes us to a small Irish village which will give Sean a place to get away from his past and show the community he will be walking into.


Scene of the Movie –
The first truth about Sean.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to tell the different country people apart.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film considered a classic, you can see why because of what it would have help do with cinema, but it just doesn’t seem as attention drawing as it should.

 

Overall: Classic, but dated.

Rating