Paint Your Wagon (1969)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

After a debut on Broadway in 1951, Paramount spent an estimated 17 to 20 million dollars in production costs for this Lerner and Loewe musical. With Loewe's permission, Lerner wrote five additional tunes for the film with Andre Previn. Ben Rumson (Lee Marvin) is the grizzled prospector trying his luck panning for gold in California. Pardner (Clint Eastwood) is his companion. When Ben buys a woman from a Mormon, Elizabeth (Jean Seberg) expects equal rights for her gender and chooses to live with both men. Ben and Pardner tunnel under the boomtown to gather the fallen gold dust that has filtered through the cracks of the saloon and other places. The musical comedy features 13 songs, the most recognizable being "They Call The Wind Maria". The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band helps out on the song "Hand Me Down That Can O' Beans". Both Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin are given a chance to show their vocal ability (or lack of it) in several songs. The initial release fell far short of regaining the millions put into the production, and most critics dipped their pens in poison to pan the picture -- though the film plays better than the critics would lead anyone to believe. Many jumped on the Paint Your Wagon smear campaign after the film proved to be not nearly as successful as other musicals.
PG-13 (for thematic material)
Classics , Comedy , Musical & Performing Arts , Western , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Home Video

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Lee Marvin
as Ben Rumson
Clint Eastwood
as Pardner
Jean Seberg
as Elizabeth
Harve Presnell
as Rotten Luck Willie
Ray Walston
as Mad Jack Duncan
Tom Ligon
as Horton Fenty
Alan Dexter
as Parson
William O'Connell
as Horace Tabor
Benny Baker
as Haywood Holbrook
Alan Baxter
as Mr. Fenty
Paula Trueman
as Mrs. Fenty
Robert Easton
as Atwell
H.B. Haggerty
as Steve Bull
Terry Jenkins
as Joe Mooney
Karl Bruck
as Schermerhorn
John Mitchum
as Jacob Woodling
Sue Casey
as Sarah Woodling
Harvey Parry
as Higgins
Ben Baker
as Haywood Holbrook
H.W. Gim
as Wong
William Mims
as Frock-Coated Man
Roy Jenson
as Hennessey
Pat Hawley
as Clendennon
L. William O'Connell
as Horace Tabor
Ben Baker
as Haywood Holbrook
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Critic Reviews for Paint Your Wagon

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | July 21, 2008
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

A mess, to be certain, but a happy and unpretentious mess that rambles along with a reckless charm.

Full Review… | May 15, 2015

Logan's movie is a flop on many levels, a musical in which America's most macho actors, Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin, are miscast and required to sing.

Full Review… | February 13, 2011

Audience Reviews for Paint Your Wagon


I'm not a fan of musicals, but this amiable western is full of slapstick drunken brawls and affable cowpokes, semi spoofing the genre. Imagine a romantic Cat Ballou with songs...?! Plus Lee Marvin and Clint are great together.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Paint Your Wagon is a strange western musical which has some embarrassingly catchy tunes. What a ride!

Lafe Fredbjornson
Lafe Fredbjornson

Super Reviewer


Mildly amateurish, yet funny and interesting.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

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