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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on July 16, 2007, 06:03:59 PM



Title: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: cigar joe on July 16, 2007, 06:03:59 PM
Watched this overly bloated Western on TCM last night another treasure hunt Western a la GBU but boy does it not deliver Dir. by J Lee Thompson and starring Gregory Peck ...  MacKenna  Omar Sharif ...  Colorado  Telly Savalas ...  Sgt. Tibbs  Camilla Sparv ...  Inga Bergmann  Keenan Wynn ...  Sanchez  Julie Newmar ...  Hesh-Ke  Ted Cassidy ...  Hachita  Lee J. Cobb ...  The Editor  Raymond Massey ...  The Preacher  Burgess Meredith ...  The Storekeeper  Anthony Quayle ...  Older Englishman  Edward G. Robinson ...  Old Adams  Eli Wallach ...  Ben Baker

It has great cinematography but that is about all, it just doesn't work, there are no town sets whatsoever to juxtapose the landscapes, its as if they spent all the money on cameos. I was watching to see Eli Wallach. The big stars in 1969 were Peck and Sharif.

One memorable sequence is Julie Newmar's nude swim quite surprizing & unexpected.

3/5


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 16, 2007, 09:49:15 PM
Mackenna's Gold Watched this overly bloated Western on TCM last night another treasure hunt Western a la GBU but boy does it not deliver Dir. by J Lee Thompson and starring Gregory Peck ...  MacKenna  Omar Sharif ...  Colorado  Telly Savalas ...  Sgt. Tibbs  Camilla Sparv ...  Inga Bergmann  Keenan Wynn ...  Sanchez  Julie Newmar ...  Hesh-Ke  Ted Cassidy ...  Hachita  Lee J. Cobb ...  The Editor  Raymond Massey ...  The Preacher  Burgess Meredith ...  The Storekeeper  Anthony Quayle ...  Older Englishman  Edward G. Robinson ...  Old Adams  Eli Wallach ...  Ben Baker

It has great cinematography but that is about all, it just doesn't work, there are no town sets whatsoever to juxtapose the landscapes, its as if they spent all the money on cameos. I was watching to see Eli Wallach. The big stars in 1969 were Peck and Sharif.

One memorable sequence is Julie Newmar's very nude swim quite surprizing & unexpected.

3/5
The movie's ending is unintentionally funny. It's been decades since I've seen it (on late night network TV), but I remember the hokey earthquake at the finale. The ground is undulating like it's sitting on a water tank. Riders want  to leave the secret canyon (or whatever) and so are trying to outrun the quake. Fissures appear in the ground in front of the riders, and they and their mounts leap over them! Hilarious. In a real earthquake, the horses wouldn't even be able to remain upright, to say nothing of galloping and jumping.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on July 17, 2007, 06:42:39 AM
"MacKenna's Gold". . . haven't seen it, will probably have to sometime. That's an amazing cast, even if they're small roles. I can't imagine Omar Sharif as a Mexican, but then he played a lot of ethnically incorrect roles in his career, so I could probably live with it.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Banjo on July 18, 2007, 01:29:22 AM
Been fond of this western since i was a kid and i give it 4 out of 5. :)


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: titoli on July 18, 2007, 03:54:11 AM
Quote
One memorable sequence is Julie Newmar's nude swim quite surprizing & unexpected.

I watched this at the theatre and stood another show just to watch again those few seconds. Blessed vhs's and dvd's!


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: cigar joe on July 18, 2007, 05:43:26 AM
We know why Banjo  :D


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: titoli on July 18, 2007, 06:23:15 AM
I saw that the actress was the Catwoman in the '60's Batman. Now I see.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Jill on July 18, 2007, 07:35:35 AM
I've seen it only for Gregory a few years ago. Quite good, but Greg had better westerns (for example The Big Country), and: WHY is Omar Sharif surviving too? He's the bad guy!

Want to see Duel in the Sun and The Gunfighter from Greg...  :-*

Oh, and he had in his late years a good Zapata western too - Old Gringo. Worth for him, not worth for Jane Fonda, and we have a very young Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) as Mexican...  ;)

Greg was one of my favourites. Talented, handsome and honourable... a real gentleman.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: cigar joe on July 18, 2007, 09:17:57 PM
Jill if you like Gregory Peck you must try and find "The Bravados" with Peck & Lee Van Cleef.

But getting back to Mackenna's Gold, I still can't believe how little was made out of such a good cast, what a contrast with Leone this is a good comparison film show these two back to back if you ever want to prove a point of how to make a great vs mediocre adventure treasure hunt, a lot of the other money must went into the fx's of the earthquake.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Panache on June 03, 2008, 03:21:04 PM
they been makin fun of th song from this movie for half a year now, on Letterman(Jose Feliziano came out an sang it in person,1 night ;D

i saw it a few months ago, kinda hokey but decent(had a boatload a stars in it

an catwoman takin a nude swim-well ya cant beat that(ina mamn er of speaking ;D


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 03, 2008, 08:48:58 PM
they been makin fun of th song from this movie for half a year now, on Letterman(Jose Feliziano came out an sang it in person,1 night ;D
Indeed: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=HBpzTcW5qIg&feature=related


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 16, 2010, 02:15:49 PM
What the hell is this? One of the weirdest, most disjointed and disorienting Westerns I've ever seen. Aside from that Omar Sharif wants some Indian gold, nothing that happens makes a lick of sense or follows any comprehensible pattern, except for the constant theme of Gregory Peck slugging people. It has its moments but it never amounts to anything coherent. Lots of pointless cameos, all of whom turn up just long enough to get whacked (and mostly at once, at that). Peck is Peck, Sharif is unconvincing as either a Mexican or a bad guy (can't wait to see his take on Che Guevara), Julie Newmar is really something. Gorgeous cinematography, occasionally ruined by over-the-top editing. Decent score ruined by a cornball song about vultures. Annoying narration. The earthquake at the end was cool I guess.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 16, 2010, 03:47:02 PM
I keep thinking Richard Crenna is in this.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 16, 2010, 04:29:19 PM
The earthquake at the end was cool I guess.
It always gives me fits of laughter.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Cusser on May 16, 2010, 04:51:35 PM
One memorable sequence is Julie Newmar's nude swim quite surprizing & unexpected.


How much of that scene was included in the TCM version?  I remember Playboy showing her diving in topless, and emerging bottomless.   


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 16, 2010, 05:02:42 PM
TCM doesn't censor much of anything.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 16, 2010, 05:05:06 PM
It always gives me fits of laughter.

I laughed pretty hard at Omar Sharif's impromptu mariachi dance.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 16, 2010, 06:00:00 PM
Dug up a pretty funny DVD Talk review:

Quote
MACKENNA'S GOLD (1969) is tedious western starring Gregory Peck and Omar Sharif. As the story opens, Marshall Sam Mackenna (Peck) is given a map by a dying Indian to a legendary stash of Apache gold. After burning the map, he is captured by the criminal named Colorado (a badly miscast Sharif), who wants Mackenna to lead him to the gold. The remainder of the film involves Mackenna, Colorado, and the rest of their band making their way to the mythical canyon that supposedly houses the treasure.

This, simply put, is not a very good movie. At 127 minutes, it's about 30 minutes longer than the material seems to require and the story just seems to drag on unnecessarily. I knew that I was in for a frustrating film experience when I began checking the elapsed time before the opening credits even finished. These credits are accompanied by a terrible theme song and rambling narration that lasts over seven minutes before the actual story begins . . . not a good sign. The bloated cast includes not only Peck and Sharif, but also Keenan Wynn, Burgess Meredith, Edward G. Robinson, Eli Wallach, and others -- so many that they are reduced to a series of nearly pointless cameo appearances. And the increased resolution of DVD will allow you to marvel at all of the terrible special effects in MACKENNA'S GOLD. Annoying rear projection, obvious miniature work, bad matte paintings -- this film has it all.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/1221/mackennas-gold/?___rd=1 (http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/1221/mackennas-gold/?___rd=1)


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: cigar joe on May 16, 2010, 08:55:38 PM
yea pretty much hits all the points O0


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 16, 2010, 10:30:43 PM
Heck, I have no memory of Keenan Wynn at all. Who the hell was he?


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on May 17, 2010, 01:56:23 AM
This is truly a real turkey. 2/10


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 17, 2010, 05:44:49 AM
This is truly a real turkey. 2/10

The perfect Thanksgiving movie!


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 17, 2010, 09:57:20 AM
The perfect Thanksgiving movie!

 ;D


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 17, 2010, 11:21:34 AM
Must only be a matter of time until the remake!


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 17, 2010, 01:23:27 PM
Just read on IMDB Clint was the first choice for Peck's role. It was probably a wise move for him to pass on it...

...Er, except he did Hang 'Em High instead. :-\


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 17, 2010, 02:25:29 PM
Well, Clint has never been psychic; also, it's understandable that he'd feel a certain sense of loyalty to his old Rawhide director, Ted Post.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Groggy on May 17, 2010, 07:37:08 PM
Well, Clint has never been psychic; also, it's understandable that he'd feel a certain sense of loyalty to his old Rawhide director, Ted Post.

True.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: titoli on September 05, 2011, 04:55:48 PM
Heck, I have no memory of Keenan Wynn at all. Who the hell was he?

He's playing a mexican...

Resaw this after so many years and found it good, again, even though I can't understand what Peck has against Julie Newmar. I think it has all these incredible landscapes, good special effects (yeah, jenkins, the earthquake sucks but I like the idea of the canyon shadow, the gold on a small part of the walls and the crumblings down are very well made). I cannot appreciate the song because in the italian version I saw the lyrics have been translated and sung by Nico Fidenco, I guess. I am sure that Feliciano's version must be better. 7\10


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on September 06, 2011, 05:47:30 AM
Uuuhh, I think of all the better known westerns (those with a decent budget and a more or less well known cast) this is one of the worst. 2/10


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: cigar joe on September 06, 2011, 05:57:48 AM
Uuuhh, I think of all the better known westerns (those with a decent budget and a more or less well known cast) this is one of the worst. 2/10


Personally I'd only watch it again for incredible landscapes on Julie Newmar  ^-^


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: titoli on September 06, 2011, 10:13:04 AM
Personally I'd only watch it again for incredible landscapes on Julie Newmar  ^-^

Well, I watched it again after more than 40 years. And liked it. I hope to watch it again 40 years from now. And only for the landscapes ON Julie Newmar.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on May 02, 2016, 04:58:48 PM
Mackenna's Gold - J. Lee Thompson

Such must have a film looked if the great Demofilo Fidani had ever made a big budget western. An absolute catastrophe, in which nearly everything went wrong which could went wrong, with storytelling and directing competing for the most idiotic ideas. And there are many of them.
And the widescreen directing, with everything in the center of the image, was surely a welcomed gift for the fullscreen versions back in the glorious times of 4:3 TVs.

Still not a complete bore and some of the ridiculous stuff looks interesting, but most likely always against the film's intentions.  2/10


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 03, 2016, 01:27:39 AM
This is truly a real turkey. 2/10


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on May 03, 2016, 02:21:46 AM

Yes, and?


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 03, 2016, 12:34:04 PM
You stick to your rating.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on May 03, 2016, 01:01:22 PM
It seems so. So at least once I stayed true to myself.

Had forgotten that I already rated it here. And I was eager to give it a 0, but then hesitated because it had some kind of entertainment value.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: mike siegel on May 03, 2016, 03:25:35 PM
Terrible film. As usual the actors are not to blame, 'some wonderful people in it.
I saw it in a cinema when I was 10, then 20 years later in the 90s - old fashioned and badly done.

It is a perfect example of a big-budget US western helping the (US based) genre going out of fashion,
making it easier for the Italians to take over :).


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Cusser on May 03, 2016, 03:57:03 PM
How much of that scene was included in the TCM version?  I remember Playboy showing her diving in topless, and emerging bottomless.   

I don't think these made it into the theatrical cut, so likely would not be on TCM version.
(http://www.celebta.com/stars/Julie_Newmar/Julie_Newmar-Mackennas_Gold-07.jpg)

(http://mrskin.freeadult.pw/data/features/43/newmar-mackennas-1.jpg)

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/c0/50/5a/c0505ac2aee500d536f5d605802f0c95.jpg)


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: stanton on May 04, 2016, 02:04:49 AM
She's nude when she jumps into the water, without thát loincloth, but it is shown from a greater distance. Later you see her (or her body double) naked under water, and from behind when she gets out of the lake.

Unusual for a mainstream film from 1969.


Title: Re: Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Post by: Spikeopath on May 24, 2017, 02:50:17 AM
Adding review.

How to succeed by failing big?

Mackenna's Gold is directed by J. Lee Thompson and adapted for the screen by Carl Foreman from a novel of the same name written by Henry Wilson Allen (AKA: Heck Allen, Henry Allen & Will Henry!), which in turn is loosely based on the legend of the Lost Adams Diggings. It stars Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Camilla Sparv, Julie Newmar, Ted Cassidy & Telly Savalas. It's photographed by Joseph MacDonald in Technicolor and Super Panavision, with a music score by Quincy Jones.

It begins so well, the credits inform us that not only do we get Peck, Sharif and Newmar in lead roles, but that we also have in support a role call of quality thespians: Eli Wallach, Edward G. Robinson, Raymond Massey, Burgess Meredith, Lee J. Cobb, Keenan Wynn & Anthony Quayle. We are then treated to some gorgeous aerial photography of Monument Valley, a Vulture glides gracefully thru the air, and then, we hear the awful strains of "Old Turkey Buzzard" warbled like it belongs in a seventies porn movie by José Feliciano. It's there that the true marker for Mackenna's Gold is set.

The idea and source for the plot is safe, Lawman Mackenna (Peck) has the knowledge of where the legendary Canyon of Gold is. A fabled place awash with gold but guarded religiously by the Apache. With the map safely tucked away in his brain, Peck is quickly captured by blood thirsty Mexican bandit, Colorado (Sharif), and his companions, one of which (Newmar playing Indian Hesh-Ke) has past history with Mackenna. But that's not all, pretty soon Mackenna's party are joined by a whole host of other gold seekers, all seemingly gripped with Gold Fever. So in fighting and suspicion ensues, and with the Cavalry in pursuit of Colorado and the Apache still to come, this is as dangerous as it gets. If only the film wasn't so choppy and flat.

The film was originally a three hour epic, complete with intermission, but the budget probably all went on securing the cast and the producers don't seem able to deal with the task of making a big budget epic. Thus the film was cut to just over two hours; thank god for small mercies! Looking at the cast assembled it's obvious that this was a very ambitious project meant to keep the Western flag flying high and enthral the adventure seeking cinema goer. And you can see why such a quality cast signed on for the film, tho Peck was second choice after Clint Eastwood wisely chose to make Hang Em High instead. But what plays out is a series of clichés and absurdities that makes one unintentionally laugh. The effects are awful, I mean OK we don't expect back screen work to be high class, but here, with the actors half heartedly pretending it's real, it belies the fine work of MacDonald for the exteriors.

The problems don't just stop with the effects, before we even get to the issues in the cast, there's Jones' dreadful score to try and ignore. It sounds like he thinks he's scoring a Keystone Cops Gold Rush type movie! Dimitri Tiomkin, along with Foreman, is on production duties (hmm), I'm sure he could have knocked up something better for this film in his sleep. Peck is actually OK, with that laconic way of his, he suits the tone of the narrative. Sharif is grossly miscast, while Sparv is simply woeful. Newmar raises the temperatures of audience and cast alike, which you sense was her only instruction, while the lauded support cast file in and out without time to impact on proceedings. All of which leads to a finale of ham, model work and predictability. Yet there's been just enough to make the undemanding stay to the end. We wonder if indeed there is a Canyon of Gold, and Peck is so likable we just want to see him win out and defy the baddies.

Does it succeed by failing big? Well it is fun, but coming as it does from the makers of the Guns of Navarone, you have to believe that the end product is not the sort of entertainment they originally set out to craft. 3.5/10