El Dorado (1967)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Having struck pay dirt with his 1958 western Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks more or less remade the picture twice in the 1960s. The first of these rehashes was El Dorado, with Rio Bravo star John Wayne back for more. Wayne plays a gunfighter who rides into El Dorado to link up with his old pal, sheriff Robert Mitchum ("It's the big one with the big two!" declared the film's advertisements). Wayne has turned down a job with evil land baron Ed Asner, who'd hoped to drive a family off the land that he needed for its water. That family, headed by R.G. Armstrong, is convinced that Wayne is working with Asner; when Armstrong's son Johnny Crawford dies, Wayne is held responsible, earning him a bullet in the spine from Crawford's sister Michele Carey. A year passes: Wayne returns to El Dorado, in the company of his new saddle pal James Caan. They find that Asner is still up to his old tricks, and that Mitchum has descended into alcoholism. Several plot twists and power shifts ensue, leading to the slam-bang climax, with the partially paralyzed Wayne, the newly crippled Mitchum (on crutches), and the concussion-suffering Caan battling together to stave off Asner's minions. The final long-shot, of Wayne and Mitchum limping off together arm-in-arm, is one of the most enduring images in the entire Hawks canon. If they loved it twice they'll love it thrice: in 1969, John Wayne and Howard Hawks teamed up for a third Rio Bravo derivation, Rio Lobo--which, like the first two films, was scripted by Leigh Brackett. Incidentally, that's famed artist Olaf Weighorst (whose paintings appear in the title sequence) in a cameo as the gunsmith. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Paramount Pictures

Cast

John Wayne
as Cole Thornton
Robert Mitchum
as Sheriff J.P. Harrah
James Caan
as Mississippi
Charlene Holt
as Maudie
Michele Carey
as Joey MacDonald
Arthur Hunnicutt
as Bull Harris
R.G. Armstrong
as Kevin MacDonald
Edward Asner
as Bart Jason
Paul Fix
as Doc Miller
Christopher George
as Nelse McLeod
Johnny Crawford
as Luke MacDonald
Robert Rothwell
as Saul MacDonald
Adam Roarke
as Matt MacDonald
Chuck Courtney
as Jared MacDonald
Anne Newman
as Saul's Wife
Diane Strom
as Matt's Wife
Victoria George
as Jared's Wife
Olaf Wieghorst
as Swedish Gunsmith
Anthony Rogers
as Dr. Donovan
Dean Smith
as Charlie Hagan
William Henry
as Sheriff Bill Moreland
Don Collier
as Deputy Joe Braddock
Jim Davis
as Jim Purvis, Jason's Foreman
Nacho Galindo
as Mexican Saloonkeeper
John Mitchum
as Bartender, Jason's Saloon
Ralph Volkie
as Bit Part
Danny Sands
as Bit Part
Buzz Henry
as Bit Part
Deen Pettinger
as Bit Part
Lee Powell
as Bit Part
Riley Hill
as Bit Part
John Strachen
as Bit Part
Mike Letz
as Bit Part
Richard Andrade
as Bit Part
Ruben Moreno
as Bit Part
Robert Shelton
as Bit Part
Linda Dangcil
as Bit Part
Myrna MacMurray
as Bit Part
Joe Garcio
as Bit Part
Christopher West
as Bit Part
Frank Leyva
as Bit Part
Charlita
as Bit Part
Chuck Roberson
as Jason's Gunman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for El Dorado

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3)

Hawks makes a familiar plot resound strangely with a new set of sexual overtones.

Full Review… | October 21, 2013
New Yorker
Top Critic

An excellent oater drama, laced with adroit comedy and action relief, and set off by strong casting, superior direction and solid production.

Full Review… | May 13, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Howard Hawks is too good a director to depend upon stereotyped violence to keep the interest of the audience, and his well-made scenes between Wayne, Mitchum, Arthur Hunicutt and James Cann never lag for a moment.

Full Review… | July 26, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Vivid story telling and a late take on the Western genre as a whole.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Classic Film and Television

Even looked at with today's eye, El Dorado is a thrilling movie with great characters and a brilliant image of the mythical old west.

Full Review… | January 9, 2010
7M Pictures

Although the plot and star have been recycled, El Dorado is still a gold standard of the western genre.

Full Review… | May 22, 2009
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for El Dorado

½

Hawks re-teams with John Wayne in this obvious remake of Rio Bravo (although he always denied that), which despite lacking in originality and being too familiar for its own good, boasts a stunning cinematography, elegant dialogue and Robert Mitchum virtually stealing the scene.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Excellent film is more an examination of friendship and loyalty than a conventional western. Serious considerations are leavened with a natural camaraderie between the characters and a fine sense of humor. Wayne and Mitchum work very well together, their interchanges have the lived in feel of old acquaintance with a young James Caan loose, sexy and funny as the gunslinger who can't shoot. The wonderful supporting cast and Hawks surehanded direction all contribute to making this a very fine film indeed.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Who cares if El Dorado has a similar to Rio Bravo, it's a great movie that is one of the best American Westerns. The story has such a beautiful flow and pace, with characters that you are glued to from the beginning. That's what Howard Hawks does best, create movies that people can enjoy and also respect. With a dynamite cast like The Duke, Robert Mitchum and James Caan, how can you lose? While this might be a lot more subtle, it shows you everything good about the genre and has absolutely zero flaws. You can appreciate it from every level, it's not for any one type of audience.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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