Paint Your Wagon


Paint Your Wagon

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,318
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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.

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Lee Marvin
as Ben Rumson
Jean Seberg
as Elizabeth
Harve Presnell
as Rotten Luck Willie
Ray Walston
as Mad Jack Duncan
Tom Ligon
as Horton Fenty
William O'Connell
as Horace Tabor
Benny Baker
as Haywood Holbrook
Alan Baxter
as Mr. Fenty
Paula Trueman
as Mrs. Fenty
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
William Mims
as Frock-Coated Man
Roy Jenson
as Hennessey
Pat Hawley
as Clendennon
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Critic Reviews for Paint Your Wagon

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (1)

  • The fact is, Paint Your Wagon doesn't inspire a review. It doesn't even inspire a put-down. It just lies there in my mind - a big, heavy lump.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A mess, to be certain, but a happy and unpretentious mess that rambles along with a reckless charm.

    May 15, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 13, 2011 | Rating: D | Full Review…
  • The pic just collapses because there's nothing going on that matters except to watch Marvin's hammy performance.

    May 17, 2009 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • This last gasp MGM musical still features enough curiousity to make it worthwhile.

    Jul 29, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • Not as bad as some would make you believe. But I'm still not looking forward to that Clint Eastwood Sings Sinatra album.

    Aug 8, 2002 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Paint Your Wagon

  • Oct 21, 2010
    If you're a fan of movie musicals, then your viewing has probably included Paint Your Wagon at some point, and I bet you've never watched it again after that! The era of the big-budget movie musicals was long over when this one was made, and for its time, it was controversial and 'adult'. Now it seems relatively tame to have singing gold prospectors wooing and bedding the same woman. Don't look for any big performances or smash-up musical numbers with this one, there aren't any. Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood are charismatic as ever, but they can't sing worth a damn, nor should they have tried. The results are absolutely laughable. Marvin, to his credit, could always fill a screen, even as a drunken singing prospector in underwear. I can imagine he probably was 'fully lit' for this performance -- you'd have to be stoned or drunk to get through this movie in front of, or behind the camera. Why this film really fails is that musicals don't come off well in outdoor locations. You completely lose any kind of focus on the song, because you're looking at the nice scenery, and there are some good camera shots. The scenes are confusing, the action alternating between frenetic and achingly slow. It's the kind of film that the stars probably laugh about, or wish they could erase from their memory. The songs are pretty forgettable, here's a sample: "Where are we going? I don't know! When will we get there I ain't certain, all I know is that I'm on my way!!!" The movie sort of follows this really don't know where it's going...for hours. All I know is, it's several hours of your life that you won't get back. Go watch Singing in the Rain, it's far more entertaining.
    Mark K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2010
    I love Westerns but hate Musicals so I didnt know what Id think of this 1 but it was suprisingly good
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2008
    The storyline is downright ridiculous. But I really like the music and I never knew Clint Eastwood had such a lovely singing voice! The special effects are wicked awesome, too. I watched the whole thing from beginning to end so that is saying something right there.
    Dannielle A Super Reviewer
  • May 29, 2008
    OK granted, this belongs more in a comedy section than a western section, but its hard to exclude from a list of Eastwood's most memorable movies.
    James K Super Reviewer

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