Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Sons of Katie Elder

The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Dir: Henry Hathaway
Staring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman, Michael Anderson Jr., Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy, James Gregory

Four sons return home for their mothers funeral, only to discover that the family farm had be conned away before their parents death. They set out to learn the truth to what happened.

This is a fairly average John Wayne movie, about four brothers that upon returning home for their mothers funeral, learn of the begins of a land scheme by a corrupt businessman to take over the town, starting with their family farm. They slowly get pulled in mainly to get what they are owed for the farm, but then after they set set up for a crime they didn't commit, and probably cause they just got mad due to being shot at a lot, they set out to set things right.

This is a fairly simple story, and there aren't really many surprises in the film. It mainly works due to Wayne and Martin, with some additional help from George Kennedy as a evil gunfighter brought in to make sure that Wayne's character doesn't cause too much trouble for the businessman, played by James Gregory.  But really it's kind of hard to believe that Wayne, Martin, Holliman, and Anderson are brothers. The age gap between the actors and fact that they have no similar features make them seen like 4 random guys rather than brothers. Most of why the film works is due to the character work by the actors. At least the scenes with them together are fun. The thing that hurts the film the most is that it seems a bit too long, but had they cut it down the first thing they would of chopped out would probably be the scenes of the brothers bickering and joking with each other, which would deprive the film of some of it's best moments.

Overall I would say that while this is a okay film, it's not an amazing film. It's a good film for a lazy afternoon. Really if you're set on watching a Wayne/Martin film it should be Rio Bravo, but this one is enjoyable too.

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