Posts from Gorch in thread „The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)“

    Some of us do! Hadn't seen this set. I have a number of B&W 8x10s on this title, but no lobbies. If some one wants to simplify how to post images on this site, I might be persuaded to share some of my collection.

    I tried posting a few a years or so ago and found it to be a royal pain. Don't know how Larry keeps his sanity.

    We deal in lead, friend.

    I had somehow missed this one in its theatrical release and had first seen it, pan and scan, on Sunday Night at the Movies. Not an optimal way to be introduced to any film. I have since seen it in its proper format but watched it again that way today and I've avoided reading all the other entries in this project. Please don't excoriate me if I'm repetitive.
    This is a movie that could only have been made if John Wayne were in it. He personified westerns in the mid '60s and I can't envision Kirk, Burt or Clint in it. The whole story revolves around Johnny Elder's reputation which is simply shorthanded by casting Duke. He surrenders his gun for most of the picture and it's obvious that he has nothing to prove by doing so.
    The director and cinematographer are flawless. Each shot of the four brothers either walking across a dusty street or riding down a slope punctuate that they are a family unit, even if they bicker and throw a semi lethal punch at each other now and again.
    The plot takes its time (hell, the audience knows who shot Bass in the back right away) in order to allow us to enjoy the reunion of the Elder brothers.
    The supporting cast is pitch perfect, even if you didn't know who they were at the time of release. George Kennedy's strange inflection early on is unsettling; Strother Martin's whiny voice is amusing; nervous and blustering Dennis Hopper is obviously seeking his father's approval; and Jeremy Slate's martinet is mitigated by his subtle attraction to Martha Hyer which prompts moving the Elders and his fatal decision to join them.
    Elmer Bernstein's music score accentuates the action and moves it along when there are some slow sections and the main theme is classic.
    Dean Martin makes a bunch of upstaging moves to call the audience's attention, like catching the coins in one overhand grab or playing solitaire with intensity.
    Mike Anderson plays it a little aggressively just as a younger brother would amongst such characters.
    Earl Holliman does what he can with a role that is underwritten, but manages to establish that he does belong to this brotherhood.
    Yet everything meshes into an extremely satisfying two hours, the likes of which can not and will not be duplicated.
    A bit of deducing: Katie and Bass were married in 1850. The date on Bass' memorial is 1890 something. That would make Johnny Elder in his forties.
    Now I'm going to read all the other entries and, probably, kick myself in the ass.

    We deal in lead friend.

    Quite a few films from that era had theme songs that weren't used in the film itself. Besides Katie, there were "The Comancheros", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", "Rio Conchos" and "The Guns of Navarone".
    I blame the whole song thing on Dimitri Tiomkin and the success of "High Noon". However, if it weren't for that film, we wouldn't have "Gunfight at the OK Corral", "The Green Leaves of Summer" and "The War Wagon".

    We deal in lead, friend.

    Outstanding post! Never mind the "print the legend" philosophy, I would like to see a movie made from those facts. I always have enjoyed "Katie Elder" - it's a relaxed, genial and well made film - but never knew it was based on any historical incident or family.
    Here's hoping that Hollywood picks up on this one.

    We deal in lead, friend.