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The Sons of Katie Elder Photos

Movie Info

Four ne'er-do-well sons reunite in their Texas hometown to attend their mother's funeral. Led by older brothers John (John Wayne), a gunfighter, and Tom (Dean Martin), a gambler, the four soon learn that their father gambled away the family ranch, which was the cause of his murder. The brothers decide to avenge their father's death and win back the ranch, a situation that quickly leads to trouble with the local sheriff and violent conflict with the rival Hastings clan.

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Critic Reviews for The Sons of Katie Elder

All Critics (13) | Fresh (13)

Audience Reviews for The Sons of Katie Elder

  • Oct 28, 2013
    40 years before John SIngleton loosely adapted it to a modern urban setting, Henry Hathaway delivered a story about 4 estranged brothers who reunite after a long period of absence to attend the funeral of their beloved mother. While in town, they learn of shady business considering their late mother's ranch, as well as the murder of their father a few years prior. Unwilling to live and let live, the four set out to make things right, the only way they know how: forcefully. Even though I did find things to like about this movie, in the end, I feel like it's really not all that special, and basically just a routine John Wayne movie. There's nothing really wrong with that, but he did so many films like this that it basically just ends up as something rather unremarkable. It's a bit shaky and uneven, a tad overlong, and even a touch boring at times, and, Elmer Bernstein's score sounds too similar to his work for The Magnificent Seven for my liking, but, John Wayne and Dean Martin do serviceable work as the two oldest Elder brothers, and they have good chemistry with one another, so that helps. A young Dennis Hopper also appears, which is cool, too. The film is decently well shot, and does have it's occasional rousing moments, but in the end, I personally prefer John Singleton's Four Brothers. It's glossier, more entertaining, and more compelling.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2011
    It's really uneven at times, and has very shaky third act with a poor ending. Still, I think John Wayne does some of the finest acting I've seen from him yet in this film.
    Dillon L Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2011
    Dean Martin as The Duke's brother?!? Admit it ... it's not the first casting choice anyone would make, but Dino finds his way in this tale of 4 wayward brothers who come home to try to make things right by Ma even if it kills them. Stay with it because it builds momentum after a slow start.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2010
    Four brothers meet up after their mother's funeral but they are surprised to learn that Katie was left no money from the sale of their family ranch and that she ended her days doing odd jobs to earn money for her keep. To make things worse the man who now owns their land frames them for a crime which they didn't commit and turns the entire town against them. A classic western theme strengthened by the presence of John Wayne, Dean Martin, George Kennedy and Dennis Hopper.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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