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Author Topic: The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)  (Read 4136 times)
titoli
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« on: December 27, 2008, 09:05:09 PM »

I don't know why the first time I saw this I din't like it: probably the dubbing. But it's very good. So many little things that do not work, basically a casting problem. But so many memorable scenes (Wayne's entrance, the eye-glass, the Keenedy's beating, the bridge shooting: what a landscape!, the vice-sheriff's death) and a story never forced into unnaturalness (except Hopper's confession) and that never relents. Leone took something from this for OUTW, as we know. Still there's some regret   for how better it could have been. At IMDB somebody proposed to substitute the younger brother with Hopper (who delivers a great performance: this from one who never liked him). Also I think that Dino is not served by a screenplay which develops more his character (and by the director who never gets close to him). Still the major problem is: with whom to substitute the too old looking (apart from being it) Wayne? 8\10

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 04:29:39 AM »

My problem with this film is that I don't even now recall who the villian of the film was.

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 10:49:51 AM »

I bought this for like 3 bucks two years ago and still haven't watched it. I'll try watching this in the next few weeks.

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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2008, 12:26:11 PM »

I like this film, for all its little flaws.  Elmer Berstein score is good as well.

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titoli
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2008, 04:07:23 PM »

My problem with this film is that I don't even now recall who the villian of the film was.

That means you're due for a re-vision: the villains are excellent.

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2008, 04:30:19 PM »

It's watchable, nothing more. Rather disappointed me.

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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 07:47:39 AM »

Great Film. One of the last great US-Westerns done the 'old style'. Wayne & Hathaway always worked very well together. I love NORTH TO ALASKA.
It was shot in Durango, like Peckinpah's PAT GARRETT (and many others of course).

Originally Johnny Cash sang the title song. It is still on the soundtrack album. 'Don't know why they decided not to use it..
Dean Martin is great, Dennis Hopper is great (his Hollywood comeback, after Hathaway started Hopper's blacklisting 6 years earlier).

Big fun all the way.
The spirit these films lost when everybody tried to copy LEONE & the violent Italian style. Even Hataway with the dark and unpleasant FIVE CARD STUD.
But the times of 'clean' US-Westerns were over anyway, so it's like a last hurrah (tgether with EL DORADO, WAR WAGON and few others).

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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2010, 06:43:06 PM »

I finally watched this after being impressed with North to Alaska and the horrible pacing kills the movie. There were a lot of nice moments, Titoli named most of them; but good god this was the worst kind of movie in that it's good enough to keep your interest but plods for 2 hellishly long hours.

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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 08:48:21 PM »

It's watchable, nothing more. Rather disappointed me.

Agreed

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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2017, 06:05:37 AM »

Some good scenes as you say. I would liked to have seen what Katie was like instead of all the anecdotes about her. I'm going to check to see if I can listen to that Johnny Cash title song that has been mentioned on this thread.

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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 06:12:03 AM »

Me >

The Magnificent Four!

John, Tom, Matt and Bud, these are the Elder boys, who upon meeting up at the funeral of their recently deceased mother, find that their father may have been murdered over a card game. The boys must cast off sibling rivalries and find out just what has been happening in their childhood town of Clearwater, Texas.

Unfairly given harsh treatment upon its release by the critics and beset with behind the scenes problems, The Sons Of Katie Elder actually holds up rather well in this day and age. All the required traits are in the film to make it an oater of some worth, a splendid cast with as much macho beef as you can shake a stick at, a top Elmer Bernstein score, the wonderful use of the Casa Blanca location and a revenge driven plot of some note. So why is it hard to actually sell this picture to the staunch Western crowd? Well coming as it did in 1965 it certainly has something of a modern sheen to it, an uneasy bed fellow with the wild west theme of the picture. The casting of the brothers just about works, but Michael Anderson Jr (Bud) and Earl Holliman (Matt) do seem to be overawed by the presence of John Wayne (John) and Dean Martin (Tom), meaning as a foursome it never quite gets to being a tight acting unit. The length of the picture may also be an issue to some? Long periods of inaction work to me personally because the characters (family unit) are gaining much needed depth, but for those wanting guns a toting at frequent intervals are not exactly catered for.

Yet what action there is surely more than makes it worth the viewers patience? From the Duke swinging a nice piece of hickory to a wonderful riverside shootout, Henry Hathaway's Western is not found wanting for memorable sequences, in fact if you ask me then the mere sight of the Duke blasting away with a six shooter in each hand is a truly blood pumping joy, and don't get me started on a delightful Dean Martin scene as he raffles his glass eye! So all in all it's not without its itches, but as 60s Westerns go, The Sons Of Katie Elder is a hugely enjoyable picture to enjoy by the fireside on a Sunday afternoon. 7/10

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