MacKenna's Gold - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

MacKenna's Gold Reviews

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½ April 15, 2016
It's beautifully photographed and all, but it's flabby, with a nonsensical script, standard performances, plot threads that go nowhere, and a painfully blatant story.
Once again, as in 'Lord Jim', here comes good old Eli to brighten up the story... for fifteen minutes, before his character is killed in an ambush. Nice knowing you, Ben.
½ November 12, 2015
This movie was made at the end of an era when Westerns were being made. It had a strong cast that added flair and style to the short lives of their characters. It would be easy to mock and criticize the special effects on your tablet or iphone as the modern world steals your attention from the corner of your eyes. However, in a large darken theater your focus and attention draws you into the old West. The story is a treasure hunt adventure. It could've easily been an Indiana Jones trilogy if the Western genre wasn't on it's way to hibernation. I recommend this movie with a box of popcorn, a coke and no cell phone.
June 3, 2015
What could you expect from a movie made in 1969! Mummy must have copied the ending.
½ January 27, 2015
A lot of what happens in this film is just plain ridiculous. Many of the special effects are laughable. What it does have going for it are its incredible vistas and fun pulpy feel. The main reason I watched this was because of its supposed influence on the Indiana Jones series. I didn't see too much of that, except at the climax. Apparently, George Lucas shot the behind-the-scenes featurette.
August 7, 2014
This movie was so bad, it was good! The earthquake scene is the best!
July 11, 2014
all time classic western
December 11, 2013
A formulaic but worthy western based on the Will Henry western. This is the type of movie that swallows the viewer with its sheer spectacle...pretty good cast too. A great western adventure
September 23, 2013
It takes a really bad movie to bring low an actor as good as Gregory Peck. Laughably bad. Impossible plot twists, characters doing unexplainable things. Opening song by Quincy Jones a complete joke.
½ May 23, 2013
A western about a mythical valley of Gold. Worth watching.
December 2, 2012
Very enjoyable movie with a cast, that is unimaginable nowadays... Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Eli Wallach and Telly Savalas, to the last man they're all legends.......the plot is quite interesting and exciting too and the whole movie has a unique style that makes it more pleasurable than anybody would expect......and the scenery is awesome......there is a beauty about dry hills, canyon and green valley......riding a horse through that path can be my dream though not in search of Mackenna's Gold.....
August 1, 2012
With so much talent and such great location cinematography from Arizona and Utah where Mackenna's Gold was shot, you would think the film would have wound up a classic. Sadly it tries and misses by a good deal.

Gregory Peck at his noblest is a town marshal who is ambushed by old Apache chief Eduardo Ciannelli. Peck kills him and finds out that the old man thought Peck was one of a gang of outlaws after a map of a lost canyon of gold. But as Ciannelli dies, Peck inherits the map which he burns.

Turns out Peck inherits a lot more than a map. Word of what the old guy had has reached the strangest places. The U.S. Cavalry, a group of settlers from the town Peck was the marshal, and unfortunately one unscrupulous bandit played by Omar Sharif. He kidnaps Peck and since Peck knows the location of where the lost canyon allegedly is, that fact keeps him alive.

Gold does terrible things to the human soul as we discover watching this film. Part of the problem here is that Peck somehow seems to rise above the whole business. Maybe he's just a bit too noble in this film and that's my problem with it.

The townspeople are an interesting crowd, the citizens that Peck has sworn to protect turn on him quite savagely. Gambler Eli Wallach, newspaper editor Lee J. Cobb, storekeeper Burgess Meredith, a pair of traveling Englishmen, Anthony Quayle and John Philip Law who think it would be jolly good sport, and even the local preacher who convinces himself God has ordained this so he can build a tabernacle. That role is played by Raymond Massey in his final big screen performance. And of course there's Edward G. Robinson as an old prospector who claims the canyon exists because the saw it and for that the Apaches burned out his eyes.

Camilla Sparv is another of Omar Sharif's hostages who's having a big problem choosing between Peck and the gold. One of the more ridiculous sequences in the film has Sharif and his band coming across an Eden like waterhole they spend a bit of time skinny dipping and satisfying some lustful desires.

The two best performances in the film are from Julie Newmar in a role with no dialog as a murderous Indian squaw who travels with Sharif's band and has a personal score to settle with Peck and from Telly Savalas as a cavalry sergeant who murders his own men and declares himself in on the gold hunt.

Hovering over the characters in the sky throughout the film is an old turkey buzzard and a song is sung intermittently throughout the film by Jose Feliciano. It's a kind of running commentary, the way some of the westerns in the fifties had Frankie Laine and other singers performing the same function.

A lot of the same themes were done better twenty years earlier in Columbia films classic Lust for Gold that starred Glenn Ford and Ida Lupino. Mackenna's Gold is an entertaining enough western, but considering all the talent in this film it should have been a lot better.
May 29, 2012
Western, Action & Adventure, Classics
½ March 24, 2012
2 of the best actors at western (Peck & Sharif)
July 1, 2011
This hack-job disappointment of a western was a horrible production with zero production value with the horrible miniatures and the lack of good production design (or any real production design at all). Omar Sharif, while he is good, was horrible as he does not make a convincing bandido, mainly because of his lack of a good Mexican accent. The only really redeeming part of this film was Gregory Peck's performance as the outlaw-turned-marshall though it would have been nice to see more of the outlaw side of him. The all-star cast that is present in this film with Peck and Sharif, along with Juile Newmar, Eli Wallach, and Telly Savalas made me hopeful for this film but this is a gigantic disappointment. As a final note, Jose Feliciano should never sing that stupid opening song again because that "old turkey buzzard" will come and eat him and everyone else involved in this film.
½ April 28, 2011
That was the first ever Western I've seen and I'll never forget it. Very interesting and exiting to watch Good movie.
March 13, 2011
Decent Western. Sometimes too much talk or too frantic action. Telly, Greogy, and Camilla were fun to watch though. The gold at the end was quite a reward!
September 7, 2010
MACKENNA'S GOLD (1969)
August 26, 2010
Decent western that suffers from the filmmakers trying to make it an "Epic." Probably would have been a flat out bad film if not for a huge budget. The cast does a nice job although Omaar Sharif tries to hard to play Eli Wallach's character from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Nice small roles for Telly Savales, the real Eli Wallach, and the great Gregory Peck. While the locations are breath-taking, some of the shots, most notably during the quake at the end, look incredibly fake.

Entertaining but way to long. The song "Old Turkey Buzzard" is awesome!
August 15, 2010
Some great adventure and a cool cast help gloss over a dull script that takes forever to get anywhere. Awesome character actors drop by to increase screen time and add little to the plot. Peck and Sharif are good leads, and Julie Newmar has never been more fetching. There are some really cool sequences, but there are also some really awful uses of blue screen. I think if it had been about a half hour shorter, it could have been very watchable fun, but as it stands, it's just too long for its own good. The finale, when it finally arrives, is quite good.
August 14, 2010
The creative force behind one of the all-time great WWII action/adventure films, The Guns of Navarone, including writer Carl Foreman, director J. Lee Thompson, and star Gregory Peck, reunite for this western about a small group of bandits (led by Omar Sharif) who kidnap a Marshal (Peck) in order to lead them to a legendary valley full of Apache gold.

Basically, everything that worked so brilliantly in Navarone - a terrific story that moved along at a perfect pace, interesting characters and exciting and suspenseful action scenes - falls apart here.

With this picture, the story meanders along at a sluggish pace, every-so-often coming to a dead stop so more characters can be introduced (probably because the leads are so damn boring), then get killed off during the next generic action scene, and concludes with an absolutely ridiculous climax that is completely wrong for the film.

Other than an interesting score by Quincy Jones and some nice location photography, courtesy of the Super Panavision cameras, of the Utah desert, this picture really has nothing to offer, which is a shame considering the talent involved.
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