Monday, March 12, 2007

Revisit: The Sons of Katie Elder

A Paramount Pictures release 1965

Directed by Henry Hathaway

Writing credits
Talbot Jennings (story)
William H. Wright (screenplay)
Allan Weiss (screenplay)
Harry Essex (screenplay)

The infamous Elder boys return to Clearwater, Texas for their Mother's funeral, only to face a slew of trouble surrounding the murder of their father and the loss of his ranch.

A well made western that doesn't play with tension quite like Rio Bravo, but rather builds upon it's characters backstories and focuses on mystery. Katie Elder's strentgh is it's excellent cast, which includes John Wayne, Dean Martin, George Kennedy and a young Dennis Hopper. The four brothers bounce off each other real well and the film has some genuine moments between them. There are also some great shoot-outs towards the end - look for an awesome shot of a so-pissed-he's-constipated-looking Wayne firing two pistols at once way before John Woo ever came up with the idea.

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