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- Very entertaining
If you like westerns and the Duke you will need this in your collection....more info
- Another "oater" from Howard Hawks
I enjoy most John Wayne movies and this is no exception. Although not as good as "Red River" this movie is worth 2 bits to see it. A story similar to "Rio Bravo" John Wayne and Robert Mitchum are good together. And I believe James Caan is better than Ricky Nelson although not as good a singer. Grab a box of popcorn and a soda, settle in for a return to yesteryear, and enjoy....more info
- The definitive version of "El Dorado" to own on DVD!!! Another excellent Centennial Collection release!
In 1966, popular director Harold Hawks (1932's "Scarface", 1938's "Bringing Up Baby" and 1940's "His Girl Friday") known for directing popular romantic comedies back in the 1930's and 1940's returned with his second western titled "El Dorado".
Although Hawks was not a specialist in the Western genre, his film "Rio Hondo" was critically acclaimed and so, when he created his second Western "EL DORADO" (as part of his Western trilogy) eventually, his second film would be known for the unique pairing of western greats John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Two stars that would guarantee "EL DORADO" to become a box office hit.
The film also would feature actor James Caan, Ed Asner, Arthur Hunnicutt and actresses Charlene Holt and Michele Carey.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
If there is one thing to say about the Paramount "CENTENNIAL COLLECTION" releases, many of these classic films have all been digitally remastered and look absolutely magnificent. These films containing the "CENTENNIAL COLLECTION" moniker are the definitive versions to own as they tend to have more features added and overall, like how CRITERION COLLECTIONS have spotlighted on films worldwide and have given top treatment, Paramount has done the same with several of their classic films. With that being said, I can only wish that a Blu-ray high definition transfer is in the works for these classic films because if they have been through a process of remastering, one can only expect how phenomenal these will look via HD.
For now, "EL DORADO - CENTENNIAL COLLECTION" is only available via DVD but this new version is remastered, in widescreen and features Dolby Digital audio.
The picture quality for a DVD is actually quite clean for a film nearly 40-years-old. The film utilizes a good number of outdoor shots and video looks quite clean for an older film.
For audio, I tested the audio on my receiver set at "Dolby Digital Mono". What can I say....the gunshots really come alive in the sound department. Granted, the film is primarily dialogue-based but I realized how pronounced those gun and rifle shots sound on my home theater system.
Overall, "EL DORADO" has been given special treatment and fans of the film will not be disappointed.
"EL DORADO - CENTENNIAL COLLECTION" comes with two discs. Here is what to expect on both discs:
DISC 1: The first disc includes the original film but also contains two commentary tracks.
* Commentary by Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich - Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show") was good friends with Director Howard Hawks and for this commentary, Bogdanovich who is very familiar with westerns, talks about the people on the set and any tidbits of the film which Howard Hawks have told him.
* Commentary by Critic and Film Historian Richard Schikel, actor Ed Asner and Author Todd McCarthy. - The men talk about Harold Hawks, the talent and their overall thoughts about the film.
DISC 2: This second disc contains the special features
* Ride, Boldly Ride: The Journey to El Dorado 7-Part Featurette - (total run time: 41:50) This special feature is quite lengthy and focuses on Howard Hawks, the talents of "El Dorado" and much more. The documentary is broken up into seven parts:
- CHAPTER 1: THE PARADIGM OF AN ENTERTAINER - (5:32) A featurette discussing how unique Howard Hawks was. How he has had a constant run of smash hits durin ghte 30's and 40's and has an adversarial role with the movie studios.
- CHAPTER 2: STEALING FROM HIMSELF - (5:18) This chapter talks about how "EL DORADO" was somewhat a remake of "RIO HONDO". How "EL DORADO" Borrowed heavily, the Western elements of "RIO HONDO".
- CHAPTER 3: A TACITURN MAN - (4:15) People who knew Howard Hawks, his friends talked about how he was taciturn and self-contained.
- CHAPTER 4: PROFESSIONAL COURTESY - (11:39) This film features interviews about Howard Hawks, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum and those who worked with the men.
- CHAPTER 5: SPOTLIGHT - JAMES CAAN - (5:02) James Caan worked previously on a Howard Hawks film titled "Red Line 7000 and was later casted for a Western with John Wayne. Interview with James Caan and
- CHAPTER 6: THE DUKE, THE GREY FOX AND PAPPY - (6:58) Howard Hawks and John Wayne working together. Also, Howard Hawks having to say goodbye to John Ford.
- CHAPTER 7: AN OLD-AGE MASTERPIECE - (3:37) How "El Dorado" was filmed in 1965 and came out in 1967 and the challenges of media behind-the-scenes.
* The Artist and the American West (1967) - Vintage Featurette - (5:28) a classic (and very aged) featurette about the American West and also some commentary on the film "EL DORADO".
* Behind the Gates: A.C. Lyles Remembers John Wayne - (5:32) A.C. Lyles (a movie producer for Paramount, especially the Westerns that were in theaters during the 1950's and 1960's) talks about his friend John Wayne and offers us behind-the-scenes of a variety of films that the Duke has worked on. From the winning of his award to his earlier and later career.
* Theatrical Trailer - (3:05) The original 1996 theatrical trailer.
* Galleries: These photo galleries contain Lobby Cards and Production
Included with the set is an 8-page guide about the talent in the film.
"EL DORADO" is rather a fun, action film that knows when to balance its seriousness with its humor. On one side of the spectrum, you get movie greats John Wayne and Robert Mitchum together. But on the other side, it's about character development which "EL DORADO" is very much strong in showcasing.
The film features two legendary actors in their own right but then you start adding more talent such as James Caan as Mississippi, a character that brings the comedic element to the film. And then you have two beautiful women, Charlene Holt (Maudie) and Michele Carey (Joey MacDonald) who are women that are not weak, in fact they are independent thinkers who do things on their own. Considering that women were not exactly featured in equal footing, to see these women as strong and independent, this was quite rare in a film created at that time, especially for a Western.
Overall, "EL DORADO" was an entertaining, humorous but really enjoyable Western. I absolutely enjoyed the scene as Cole and Mississippi make a concoction to help the sheriff sober up and then you have scenes where Mississippi goes to check on a shooter that is hiding near the sheriff's station (which turns out to be Joey) and he tries to apprehend her. And of course, the natural banter between Wayne and Mitchum that seem natural and real.
This is the first Western release for the "CENTENNIAL COLLECTION" and is #9 in the series. The DVD actually provides some interesting tidbits as Director Peter Bogdanovich who was good friends with Hawk, was at the set during the filming and is able to give his personal insight about Hawks and the various talent for the film. So, Western fans will definitely find some enjoyment with what is included on the two discs. There is a good number of special features that will definitely keep the viewer busy for a few hours.
Overall, "EL DORADO" is an enjoyable Western. Definitely not as superb as "RIO HONDO" but because the film manages to effectively use the talents of John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan and Charlene Holt effectively, made this film quite appealing. If you are a John Wayne or Robert Mitchum fan or even a fan of this classic 1966 film, definitely check out "EL DORADO - CENTENNIAL COLLECTION". This is the definitive version to own on DVD!...more info
- Classic Western
El Dorado is truly a classic western featuring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. James Caan gives an outstanding performance as Mississippi. Scenery,acting and story line were excellant. This is truly a movie you would want to see again and again....more info
- Best Wayne movie ever.
This movie is the best movie from the Duke that we have yet to watch. We probably have found over 40 of his movies so far, and continue to look for them. Our 2 favorites are Rio Bravo and El Dorado. The story lines are similar in some ways, but we like to watch them both. Robert Mitchum puts on one of his best acting performances. If you like the Duke, you gotta see this movie....more info
- A Great opening
I happen to be a big fan of Olaf Wieghorst and own an original oil. The vehicle of DVD is ideal for the purposes I bought this particular movie. I realize that many purchasers will care less about the item I like the most and that was the eight or more paintings by Olaf that come with the beginning credits. When a picture or painting comes on the screen the DVD can be be paused and the painting can be studied. It is a great experience. I hope that this review will encourage others to watch the movie with the eye of a western art lover....more info
- A Hired Gun Amidst a Ranchers' War
The setting for this western is Texas sometime after the Civil War. There are a number of unique, or at least uncommon, elements in this flick. It begins with a delightful song, "El Dorado", and the showing of still paintings of Old West scenes. Later, a shootout occurs not only inside and near a saloon, as one might expect in a typical western, but also in a church (belfry and then sanctuary). Women (notably rancher MacDonald's cowgirl daughter) are more prominent in this flick than in most other westerns.
There are many violent scenes in the film. Not only are shootings shown, but so also is a vendetta stabbing. Wounded men (including Cole Thornton) are shown in agony.
The politically correct won't be happy with the start of this film. Cole Thornton (John Wayne) mentions that, before the arrival of rancher MacDonald in the area, "there was nothing here except Indians and coyotes". But of course this film was made at a very different time from today (1967).
Rancher MacDonald's son, Luke, is sent to guard the ranch. This is, later according to Thornton, "A boy doing a man's job." Luke falls asleep and, at the sound of an approaching horseman, wakes up and opens fire wildly. The horseman fires back as a reflex, wounding Luke in the lower abdomen. It turns out that the horseman is none other than Cole Thornton. Luke writhes in agony, explains to Thornton what happened, and then commits suicide with his own gun.
Thornton tells father MacDonald what happened, and the latter sadly accepts the truth. But Luke's cowgirl sister does not. She set up a revenge ambush for Thornton, and fires a rifle at him. She says triumphantly: "There, you won't be killing any more boys!" But it turns out that she only managed to wound Thornton in the lower back. For the rest of the film, Thornton has episodic problems with disabling back pain and arm paralysis from the bullet lodged in his back, which he neglects to have removed promptly.
In time, one of MacDonald's remaining three sons is kidnapped, and Cole Thornton works for his release. The local sheriff at first is of no help. He is constantly drunk, and is a laughingstock for everyone around. But in time he gets sober, returns to the saloon, and has a bit of revenge against those who had been laughing at him.
At one point, Thornton seems to have an upper hand in a gunfight with MacDonald's kidnappers. But then, at the worse possible moment, Thornton is hit with a spell of back pain and arm paralysis. He is totally helpless! What will the kidnappers do to him? Will he at least get out alive? Will MacDonald's kidnapped survive and ever go free? I will not spoil the ending by revealing it.
- Watch Rio Bravo with this 5 star classic.
John Wayne was supurb in this true good vs evil western. I wish I could substitute Dean Martin in as the sheriff instead of Robert Mitchum and Walter Brennan as Bull. But this is still an amusing story....more info
- classic J.W. movie
This is a classic of classics with good action and all around good humor....more info
- My favorite John Wayne film
Yes, El Dorado has a similar plot as Rio Bravo, and it stars the "Duke" and is directed by the same director.
But, El Dorado has a much tighter and leaner script, and doesn't contain any dreaded "filler" like Rio Bravo, nor does it have the woefully miscast Ricky Nelson. (It's still a superior western though)
El Dorado co-stars the much more effective James Caan, and the incomparable Robert Mitchum in a spectacular performance.
A great story, a wonderful and superb cast, lots of great action and masterful direction make this a "must-see" western. (that "splinters in the hand" scene has to be seen to be believed ! )
Highly recommended....more info
- ice your drinks and get the popcorn ready
What could be better...you get to see The Duke riding through beautiful western landscapes....with western towns populated with beautiful women...and bad guys in black hats....plus Robert Mitchum being Robert Mitchum and James Caan with that funny hat and big gun, and they play well with The Duke. The staging and the filming in technicolor plus the Olaf Wieghorst western art with the opening credits characteristic of the late fifties and early sixties took me back to some great memories of going to the movies as a kid. A side note...an acquaintance who was working on the set during filming says that John Wayne and Robert Mitchum were not talking to each other...who knows why, supposedly they were friends at one time..during the breaks Mitchum went off with the upper echelon while Duke would lunch with the crew....this is a great DVD to own for those Saturday nites when you feel like watching a fun shoot'm up western...you'll also love Rio Bravo.....more info
- Great old movies
My entire family loves this classic movie - this is a movie that everyone can watch over and over....more info
- There is some deliberate burlesque in Hawks' "El Dorado."
In the Broken Saloon at El Dorado, two old friends, each with a reputation, meet again... But Sheriff J.P. Harrah (Robert Mitchum) greets Cole Thornton (John Wayne) with a pointed rifle... Harrah has heard his friend works now for Bart Jason (Edward Asner). Thornton admits Jason offered him good money but he doesn't know what he has to do to earn it...
Harrah explains that Jason showed up here around the end of the war with a pocketful of money and nobody could find out where he got it, but everybody else around here was broke... Having money, he started to grow... But now he needs more water... There's only one place to get it... Trouble is somebody was there ahead of him, about 20 years ahead... His name is Kevin MacDonald (R. G. Armstrong).
MacDonald got four boys and a girl... All worked real hard... They hung together through the rough times and how things were looking up, MacDonald was not ready to sell... So he's holding and Jason was pushing, and the sheriff was standing right in the middle...
Warned that Thornton has gone to Jason's, MacDonald has left his youngest boy out there to do a man's job... He went to sleep... When Cole came by, Luke (Johnny Crawford) woke up, jumped up and started firing his gun... All Cole was seeing was somebody shooting at him from the rocks... Thornton, thinking himself the target, shoots and drops the boy ... Luke explains the error then... To escape the pain of his mortal wound, he kills himself...
Thornton takes his body to his fathers' place, and after he explains what happened, his sister, Joey (Michele Carey), a wild cat in buckskin pants who didn't believe him, tried to kill him... Her brother stops her and her father asks her to get in the house...
After Thornton leaves the ranch, Joey (Michele Carey) ambushes Cole at a creek, dropping him with her riffle bullet... He manages to get back on his horse and escapes to Maudie's place, where Doc Miller (Paul Fix) treats him... The bullet was dangerous up against his spine, however, as Doc advises him to find a better surgeon for the bullet's removal...
After a short time, Thornton leaves El Dorado...
One of the best moments in the film came in a Cantina near the Mexican border when James Caan (Mississippi) enters the place and calls one of four men sitting at a dinner table, reminding him if he remembers him or if he remembers the blue hat he is wearing? Mississippi says he caught up with his other three companions and he killed them all, and that he was the last of the four... He asks him to stand up... and as the audience observed, Mississippi wasn't wearing, at all, any gun...
Obviously, when Jason just brought his outfit into town, the action started...
Robert Mitchum is 'the tin star with a drunk pinned on it.' He was too mad to be scared and too sick to worry about it..
Charlene Holt plays Maudie the gambler's widow who throws her arms around Cole, sees Harrah, and bursts out laughing when she finds her old flame and her current one are friends... She tells the sheriff that Cole gave her a stake, and helped her get on her feet...
Michele Carey plays Joey, the wild girl who thinks that Mississippi looks a lot better without that silly hat...
Christopher George plays Nelse McLeod, a dark, thin-faced man with a scar on his eye...
"El Dorado" was the third of four Westerns that Howard Hawks made with John Wayne... Hawks' massive reputation as a director of Westerns virtually rests on just two films ("Red River" & "Rio Bravo") but these two are sufficient to reveal a highly skilled, intuitive filmmaker, and one who has managed to satisfy large audiences and serious critics alike within a commercial system... ...more info
- Disappointing western
Who'd of thought that a Howard Hawks western starring John Wayne and Robert Mitchum could be so mediocre? Wayne who went on to snare a deserved Oscar for "True Grit", looked ancient and ill suited to portray one of the fastest draws in the west, gunfighter Cole Thornton. He seemed even more unbelieveable in winning the affections of attractive widow Maudie played by Charlene Holt.
Wayne joins forces with alcoholic El Dorado sheriff J.P. Harrah, not much of a stretch for Robert Mitchum who seemed half asleep at times in the film. Wayne had been recruited by land baron Bart Jason played by a snotty Ed Asner to evict the rightful owner of a tract of land that he desired, which Wayne ultimately declined to do. Together they fight off an Asner sponsored gang led by facially scarred actor Christopher George.
Unfortunately "El Dorado"'s tired theme had been done before and in much better fashion in films such as "Shane" for example. The aged pair of Wayne and Mitchum didn't do it for me. James Caan in one of his first major roles was not well cast in this movie. Arthur Hunnicutt playing deputy Bull Harris was the acting highlight of the film. Charlene Holt parading around in negligee was pretty good as well....more info
- The End of An Era
The mid-1960s was a point of intersection for American movies. It is a bit of a lost era and one of the lowest points in Hollywood's history. It is situated long after the peak glories of the `golden age' of Hollywood and just before the New Hollywood movement that would breathe such new and invigorating life into the ailing medium. In many ways the films from this era are the ones which new filmmakers would react so strongly against; movies high in budget but sparse in originality, cast with aging movie stars playing worn characters; bloated, lifeless, and out of touch with the rapidly changing social climate of the day. "El Dorado", released in 1967, is most assuredly a film of this era. It is a western of such a standard concept that it could have been made thirty years prior. Its stars, John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, are well past their primes and here look stiff, heavy, and old. It is, like so many others of the time, a film that seems irrelevant and washed up; a product of `going through the motions.' Its one saving grace, however, is that it occasionally seems all too aware of this fact.
I say that Wayne and Mitchum seem tired and old. This is no doubt due in part to their actual age, but it is also because they are playing characters who are tired and old. Mitchum plays J.P. Harrah, the drunken sheriff of El Dorado, and Wayne, Cole Thornton, a long time friend and aging gunslinger. The two shuffle and trudge though the film in a way we modern film spectators would love to call them out on, but which is intentional nearly to the point of inspired. Wayne especially, who at one point even needs help mounting his horse, seems more than aware of his changing role in films, and is obviously set about to age gracefully. He would go on to do this notion great justice in 1976's "The Shootist", but we can see the seeds of this self-reflexivity even here, some ten year prior. Mitchum too plays his role as a drunk with a certain amount of moxie, both recognizing and poking fun at his own reputation. The film is not a pure comedy, however, and despite their limitations, both the actors and characters do their best to prove they still have it, and do so to a degree of success. The scenes of hung-over Mitchum and half-paralyzed Wayne shooting their way through the streets of El Dorado determined to hold their own are quite exciting and enjoyable, and it is this aspect of the movie, this negotiation with age and character, that brings its greatest successes.
But this does not save the film as a whole. Despite the apparent awareness of these actors that they are playing tired, worn characters, they are still playing tired, worn characters. And even if the characters have a certain added depth, both the direction and the screenplay certainly do not. The story is lifeless and dull, revolving around business disputes and questions of who is the fastest draw. Much of Wayne's dialogue, especially early in the film, sounds as if it were a compilation of dialogue from every other western he has made, and the movie as a whole feels as though it must have seemed badly dated even at the time of its release. Howard Hawks, that old master of the Hollywood western, tries to bring new life to the film though the quirky character of Mississippi, played by a young James Caan, and through some intentionally odd humour, but these attempts to be `hip' cannot help but feel heavy-handed and false, like a middle age man trying to seem `cool' for the kids. There are hints that Hawks could see a future for Westerns, particularly through this humour which seems somewhat a precursor to Leone and the spaghetti westerns, but for the most part he comes across as what he is: an ageing director trying, but ultimately failing, to make films the way he always has and yet keep current.
One need only put this movie into context to see its awkward place in cinematic history. It comes some ten years after the western peaked with "The Searchers" (1956) and some eight years after Hawks' own "Rio Bravo" (1959), which also starred Wayne and Mitchum, and was already a look back to the past glories of the genre. Two years after "El Dorado" Wayne starred in the painfully out of touch "The Green Berets" (1968), a film that would solidify Wayne's position outside of contemporary culture. Westerns themselves would soon be turned upside down and shaken by Sam Peckinpah and other young filmmakers who would more competently play with the conventions of the genre. But here is "El Dorado", firmly within the middle: a film aware enough of its own age to be interesting, but lacking enough ambition or energy to solve this dilemma. Some of it is quite enjoyable, and Wayne and Mitchum are often great to watch, but ultimately the film is as awkward and stiff as the many other films of its era.
- For Wayne worshippers only
While I'm not a huge Duke fan, he is nevertheless the kind of actor who I assumed never made "B" movies.
This is a "D-."
I've seen worse, but not much. No plot to speak of, but a disconnected scattering of undeveloped and uninteresting sub-plots, dialogue aimed at 12-year-olds, and to call the performances here "acting" is being far too generous. Wayne simply struts, talks, gestures like Wayne, Mitchum is his usually bland self, and Caan plays a tossed-in character that doesn't contribute enough (outside of wearing a much-remarked-on hat)to require any acting.
Not only will this movie not stay with me, I didn't really know what it was about while I was watching it.
- Very enjoyable , doesn't matter that it's a remake
I had already seen Rio Bravo and then heard that this film was a remake of that , but wanted to see Robert Mitchum in the drunk role that Dean Martin played so well in Rio Bravo .
Mr Mitchum does very well .
This is a solid Western and like other reviewers I particularly enjoyed James Caan's character .
The story keeps the characters going as much as the audience - you feel they are making up their minds what to do as it goes along .
I hope we get a Special Edition of this film one day , but this one will do for now .
If you know Rio Bravo , you may well enjoy this film more ....more info
- It's John Wayne.
Just a good movie, nothing fantastic or awe inspiring just a good story with adequate performances. You don't see too many adequate performances in movies anymore or on TV. ...more info
- El Dorado - DVD
This film is one of those 1960's era John Wayne + (Fill in the Blank major Star)movies. Actually it's almost an exact remake of another and better Wayne flick, "Rio Bravo" with Robert Mitchum playing the Dean Martin part and James Caan playing Ricky Nelson's role....more info
- El Dorado, truly a golden fortune
This is probably my all time favorite John Wayne movie. It has it all Action, drama, comedy and even a little romance. It is not just your standard shoot-em-up, but a great study of characters. Great performances all around. A very young James Caan is a green but able kid. Christopher George is the supremely confident gunman hired by the evil landgrabber, Ed Asner. Robert Mitchum is the drunken sheriff who must sober up for the fight of his life. Of course, John Wayne as the hero who must save the day even though he suffers with a handicap of his own. Great support from recognizable actors Paul Fix, Arthur Hunnicut, R. G. Armstrong,and Jim Davis. While there is plenty of action in this movie, appreciate the interplay between the characters. The dialogue comes relaxed and easy. It is just some great entertainment.
- one of the classics
this is one of the many GREAT John Wayne films. it is helped by a star studded cast including a very young James Caan (Mississippi) and another legend of the big screen Robert Mitchum who plays Waynes old acquaintance who has turned town drunk/sheriff. All three give stellar performances! my only dissapointment with this movie was the lack of extra's but it still is worth every penney and more. this movie is a must have for even the slightest western Connoisseur!...more info
- One of My Favorite Wayne Westerns
I fell in love with this film the first time I saw it in the movies. From the marvelous theme song (sung by George Alexander and the Mello Men) to the conclusion of Wayne and Mitchum hobbling down the street on crutches, it is marvelously entertaining from start to finish.
Basically Hawks remaking his classic "Rio Bravo" and while not as great as that film, it is fun nonetheless. Wayne and Mitchum as predictably great. Arthur Hunnicutt is terrific as deputy Bull Harris, his wonderful laconic delivery of every line makes it memorable. Like the fantastic Walter Brennan as Stumpy the deputy in "Rio Bravo" (Brennan should have won a best supporting actor oscar for that film,) Hunnicutt is great as well. A very young James Caan is also fun as "Misissippi," a slightly different version of the Ricky Nelson "Colorado" in "Bravo" (Colorado was a fast gun, Mississippi cannot shoot at all.) Good support from Michele Carey, Charlene Holt and Christopher George. A nice soundtrack from once of Sinatra's favorite arrangers and conductor, Nelson Riddle.
This film is one of my favorite Wayne westerns, like Rio Bravo I never tire of it. One of my favorite Howard Hawks films as well.
I bought it years ago on DVD. Now that Paramount is finally releasing a deluxe edition, I will probably be buying it again. I'm only sorry that are not releasing it on blu-ray. If anyone knows whether a blu-ray release is coming soon, I'd like to hear about it....more info