The War Wagon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 1, 2010
I just really love this movie, two of my favorite actors sharing the screen together in a buddy western. John Wayne and Kirk Douglas are so great together and really make things so much fun, every joke and banter lands perfectly. The plot is really cool, a heist on a battle wagon, it doesn't get much better than that. It's an easy flowing movie that is lovable down to the core.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2009
It might not be great cinema but it's great fun!
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2009
This is a "caper" film, about what would be a heist in other circumstances. Since the ethics of the perpetrators are those which should have made the authorities make the robbery unnecessary, their act is justified in this situation. This noir western is a bit slick-appearing at some times; but it is physically attractive, has a good cast portraying colorful and somewhat desperate characters, and a strong theme song. Dimitri Tiomkin supplied the very capable score; and Burt Kennedy did a solid job of directing throughout. The very appealing storyline concerns Taw Jackson, played ably by John Wayne, who returns from prison to get back what he can from Bruce Cabot, who stole his ranch and framed him. All he can do is to recruit a group of "mission fighters", beginning with the man who had shot him 5 years earlier, Lomax, played by dynamic Kirk Douglas-and raid the "war wagon"--his enemy's vehicle for transporting gold, a Gatling-Gun-equipped armored stagecoach. Taw's team includes a drunken young dynamite expert he met in prison Robert Walker Jr., Keenan Wynn who is insanely jealous of his young wife, Valora Noland as the wife, Levi Walking Bear in the charismatic person of Howard Keel, his liaison to needed Indian allies, and more. Gene Evans, Joanna Barnes, Ann McRea, Terry Wilson and Frank Mcgrath are among those also doing good professional work in this interesting narrative. Only Noland is a bit weak in this cast. There are some humorous lines and interesting character moments as Wayne assembles his group and plots an attack worthy of "The Dirty Dozen" or "Where Eagles Dare", involving trees that fall at the right moment, Indians faking an attack as a diversion, dynamite used to block off access to a bridge, and a log that swings down and opens the rolling piggy bank violently. What happens after this successful robbery leads to a compromised denouement and ending; but the film is vividly put together, professionally mounted and decently scripted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel. The film stands as a reminder of what any well-made film about an ethical central character can provide relative to any un-ethical and not-fictional man's story competing for a cinema viewer's attention. Moments such as Wayne's visit to his ranch and his talk with the man who stole it, the recruiting of Lomax, the relations of the group, and the raid itself are all memorable. Underrated and always visually interesting.
deano
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2007
Good, while not John Wayne at his best, this western, costarring Kirk Douglas and directed by Burt Kennedy, does have plenty of laughs and action.
Super Reviewer
April 17, 2011
A very enjoyable western, with Wayne in his usual top form, and Kirk Douglas with an on-screen charisma that is able to match the Duke. Definitely worth checking out, look for it on HD movie net.
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2010
Great Western. The Duke seeks revenge on a ruthless mine owner who had him framed and sent to prison. He plans to do so by stealing his gold. The War Wagon is great fun with plenty of exciting action and constant comic relief. The interplay between Wayne and Douglas was sharp and sarcastic, making them an entertaining duo Overall well worth checking out.
December 22, 2011
Solid western. Could be sort of forgettable, it's the interplay between Wayne and Douglas that keeps it memorable.
½ July 15, 2011
Worth watching just for the chemistry between John Wayne and Kirk Douglas. Properly balanced between machismo and humor. Well done.
½ September 28, 2006
Not one of John Waynes better western movies and it seems a bit far fetched to call this one a comedy like McClintock.
February 4, 2008
A likable if not memorable Western.
August 31, 2013
The War Wagon, western film directed by Burt Kennedy and produced by Marvin Scwartz - film was a novel adaption by/from Clair Huffaker. Film Stars JOHN Wayne, and KIRK Douglas, Howard Keel, Robert Walker Jr. This is second film by Kirk/Douglas since In Harm's Way.

John Wayne plays Taw Jackson a rancher is back in the town to take revenge from dishonest businessman who had imprisoned Wayne - this businessman grabbed Jackson's land and started extracting gold from his land - Jackson returns after serving sentence and hires famous gunslinger Lomax played by Kirk Douglas. Lomax is also good at safe-cracker. They forge strategy to capture gold to be shipped out on a war-wagon with machine-gun.

The War Wagon is astounding piece on subject of 'heist' in Old West. Excellent photography, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas glow the screen with their presence; or when the two are at the brink of drawing guns - filled with handful of humor and hilarious scenes (where need was felt). The War Wagon does not deviate away from the often concluding part; which has always got to be full-of-bang.

NOTE: This concludes my 1600th review, written so-far - I thank God for enabling me to reach this point; and soon enough with God's help shall reach my target of watching all the movies.
½ August 2, 2013
A fantastic film from start to finish...!!!!
May 30, 2013
Succeeds at being a fun movie.
March 29, 2013
Above-average western
December 14, 2011
one of my all time favorites. can't get enough of this one.
March 3, 2012
Awesome movie, Douglas and Wayne at their best. The plot is a little weak, but with Douglas and Wayne in teh same movie and it's a western how can't you LOVE it!
½ January 24, 2012
70/100. Fun tongue in cheek Western that survives an initial slow start to be entertaining afterwards throughout. Both John Wayne and Kirk Douglas do great and have tremendous on screen chemistry together. Their friendly,competitive rivalry that mirrors their off screen persona's. Works extremely well and carries what would have otherwise been an average western. Even though they had their differences in real life, such as politics, you can tell they had a real respect for one another, and this movie does a good job of capturing that. One of the few roles that put the Duke on the wrong side of the law. Let down by the Western scenery, but was impressed with Howard Keel. I liked it but seeing Wayne and Douglas jell as well as they did makes me wish they could have joined together for a better Western. Good but unspectacular movie is highlighted by a hilarious bar room brawl and an extremely catchy theme.
½ January 22, 2012
The pairing of John Wayne and Kirk Douglas deserved a better movie than this. Their combined presence is a bit disappointing. Most of the movie is kind of dull, but it has some great moments. The bar fight was the highlight; it was a complete mess but ridiculously entertaining and funny. Also, the climax is pretty good.
August 3, 2011
..John Wayne joins forces with Kirk Douglas in an entertaining western..
July 13, 2011
the actress that plays LOGAN{brook} in the bold and the beautiful was in this film when she was real young
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