Really just a platform for John Wayne (as GW McLintock) to strut
around, showing that he's the boss. The plot and dialogue could not
have been tailored more to Wayne's ego than if he had written it
Everything else seems secondary, and hammy. There is a sub-plot about
the rights and heritage of Native Americans, but it is superficial and
There is also an initial attempt at, at last, having a strong female
character, the equal of John Wayne. This theme, with Maureen O'Hara as
Mclinkock's wife, seemed like it had potential but the whole
interaction between McLintock and his wife seemed contrived, hammy and
implausible. Ultimately, any thoughts that we might see a movie where a
woman has equal standing to a John Wayne character is destroyed in the
final few scenes.
So nothing going for this movie. Even the beautiful and vivacious
Maureen O'Hara can't save it.
George Washington McLintock (GW) is a wealthy land owner that is a respectable man and a traditionalist. His wife left him some years ago and took their daughter with her. Her daughter returns home during a turbulent time in the village; and surprisingly, she returns with his wife. Unfortunately, the town is divided by a real estate agent that wishes to throw the Indians off their land. GW tries to keep the peace while building a relationship again with his family.
"I've been punched a many of times in my life but never for hiring anybody."
Andrew V. McLaglen, director of Shenandoah, Chisum, One More Train to Rob, Gun the Man Down, Man in the Vault, Sahara (1983), and The Sea Wolves, delivers McLintock. The storyline for this picture is actually fairly entertaining and a unique addition to the western genre. The characters are very likable and I enjoyed the script. The acting was solid and the cast includes John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers, and Bruce Cabot.
"I said what I said and I'll stand by it till death."
This is a movie I grabbed off Netflix since it was a western I had never seen and a highly regarded Wayne picture. I did find this a worthwhile addition to the genre and borderline worth adding to your DVD collection if you're a Wayne or western fan. Overall, this film isn't perfect and is definitely cheesy in spots, but is definitely worth a viewing.
"Don't say it's a fine morning or I'll shoot you."
Meet George Washington McLintock (John Wayne), a cattle baron who owns most of the town of McLintock, but still feels unhappy. He intends to sell off the land to the government when he dies so they can build a national park, but is pestered a lot by old Indian friends, led by Strother Martin, a corrupt land agent named Douglas (Gordon Jones), and the territory governor, Cuthbert H. Humphrey (Robert Lowery).
But his biggest problem comes when his separated wife, Katherine (Maureen O'Hara), returns to town to get a divorce and also await the arrival of their daughter, Rebecca (Stefanie Powers), in order to decide who's keeping custody of her. The rest of the film focuses on Rebecca's struggle with love and McLintock's issues with his wife and the Indians.
Other stars appearing in McLintock include John Wayne's son Patrick as hired hand Devlin Warren, who falls for Rebecca, Jerry Van Dyke (yes, Dick Van Dyke's brother) plays Matt Douglas Jr., the son of the corrupt land agent and also has a crush on Rebecca, and Yvonne de Carlo as Louise Warren, Devlin's mom who works as McLintock's housekeeper and cook and has problems with Katherine.
Now as you probably know, I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but I can still watch them for reviewing purposes. I have no problem with John Wayne. I think he is a talented actor with a sense of toughness and personality to get through an entire picture. While this is not Wayne's superior work, McLintock is an entertaining film nonetheless.
Wayne had no real reason to make this film, it was only because his previous film, The Alamo, was a notorious flop and it cost him lots of money. In order to recoup his losses from that film, Wayne made a simple, easy Western that he knew his fans would enjoy. While I'm not a huge western nut. I must say that I was entertained by it.
First off, this film is funny. And I mean funny. Generally when you think of John Wayne, you think of him as a tough actor with a serious look, Here, he keeps his toughness, but also shows his comedic side as well, and it really surprised me. A serious scene involving a near-killing of an Indian turns into a hilarious brawl down a mud pit, caused by The Duke himself. Another funny sequence involves Wayne smacking Maureen O'Hara with a coal shovel (It sounds abusive, but trust me, it's actually pretty funny). And the funniest scene of all? A drunken Wayne attempting to climb up the stairs of his own house. It's hysterical.
What about the cast? John Wayne, of coarse, is funny tough, and cool. Maureen O'Hara, a longtime collaborator with Wayne, is entertaining and funny. Stefanie Powers is attractive and sassy as the daughter. And the rest of the supporting cast is excellent as well, even Wayne's son. I wasn't particularly fond of Jerry Van Dyke in the film, cause he looked like a cheap imitator of his brother, and his scenes could have been cut, but his scenes doesn't ruin what is otherwise a good film.
And last but not least, there's the score by DeVol, probably best known for his work on The Brady Bunch. DeVol is not one of my favorite composers, mostly due to The Brady Bunch, but his score is surprisingly done well here. His score didn't feel kiddy-kiddy here, like on, you guessed it, The Brady Bunch.
While not perfect, especially with Dick Van Dyke's not-talented brother in the picture and some political scenes that dulled the film a bit, McLintock is an entertaining western, with a good and surprisingly funny performance from John Wayne and some crazy comedic sequences. I only recommend this to diehard John Wayne fans, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.
"Somebody oughta belt you in the mouth!"
McLintock! (my favorite use of the exclamation mark, and made by Andrew V. McLaglen, 1963)) is John Wayne's bombastic Western that helped define his star image, in which he plays a wealthy cattle baron in the old West whose shrewish estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) suddenly returns to his home in anticipation of their daughter (Stefanie Powers)'s return from boarding school (or college, or something like that). Mrs. McLintock wishes to take the girl back to the state capitol with her to live a proper, upper class life, while John wants his daughter to marry the right man and pursue her own destiny. More than that, he wants to hang on to the life and legacy he has built there in town as greedy landowners conspire to take it away from him. This parallels the U.S government's efforts to relocate the Native American tribes in the area, a fact that also weighs in Mr. McLintock's mind. Can McLintock keep the peace both in his city and his household? That's the film.
And it's not much of a question, because the answer is, "of course he can! And he can do it with gusto!" We know this because that's how he does everything else, deflecting his wife's barbs and actually spanking her, while belting a man after saying that he won't in possibly the most famous moment of John Wayne's whole career. McLintock is a larger than life figure, earning that exclamation mark, and while he can be annoyed (as he is repeatedly in this film), he can't be brought down, which he proves by resolving nearly every conflict he encounters with bravado, earning the respect of both his foes, his friends, and his daughter's would be suitor (Patrick Warren), the inspiration for the spanking trick. He wins back his household (thus getting the girl), cements his legacy, and comes out the good ol' American superhero we've all been told John Wayne is. It's cute, and entertaining.
Is it a good film? Eh...
Look, I don't hate McLintock!, by any means. I just recognize it for what it is. This is how traditional Americans view the ideal of manhood, a proud, strong, decisive man who doesn't take no guff and keeps "his" women in line. It's a movie that illustrates the generation gap in 1963 better than many other films I can think of. Again, a little known fact (for some reason) is that in the early '60's, television was kicking the movies' ass, and young people (the mobile part of the population, upwardly and otherwise) just weren't all that into this kind of hero and this kind of story. Don't know how well this film did in its time (John Wayne was still a big star), but this Hollywood was in the process of breaking down as the new American culture was taking shape. The economy was good, and science and technology had brought about a whole new set of entertainment options. Things to do. Places, and more importantly, ideas to explore. This was when everyone started questioning everything, and young audiences thought this kind of character with these sensibilities was pretty old hat. As a result, those of us born afterward tend to watch movies like McLintock! With a sense of irony. We know how outmoded all of this is, and how you can get put in jail for abusing your wife today. We know that being big and bombastic is kind of obnoxious to a lot of people. We know that John Wayne's confused values about Native Americans (a confusion far from exclusive to him) aren't all that appealing in the modern era. So you have to take this material with a grain of salt, which wasn't necessarily the intention of the filmmakers. Still, for what it is - well shot, colorful, with beautiful woman, tough guys, and simple values - it is an exemplar. Don't love it, but don't hate it. B-