Sunday, August 25, 2013

John Wayne in . . . .

Was reading blogs when lunchtime came along, so fixed a bowl of soup and turned on the TV while I ate it, and there he was on AMC, a John Wayne Marathon of movies. I got in just after The Sons of Katie Elder buried their mother and watched through to the bitter end. And I do mean bitter after the ambush of the Elder brothers on their way to sell horses. That is, they were waylaid by a posse on their way to Colorado to sell the horses to the miners and taken into town and thrown in jail for stealing the horses and the murder of someone by Tom Elder. The upset town people were getting ready to lynch them when they are loaded into a wagon and sent on their way with escort to Laredo. This is where the ambush comes in, in the middle of a bridge over a stream. The team is stopped by one of the new deputies who was working for a feller named Hastings who had taken the Elder's farm from them near the little town of Clearwater. Hastings had killed their father unbeknownst to the sons of Katie Elder and the sons were looking for the murderer.

Stellar performances by Wayne and Dean Martin, and also playing in the movie was Martha Hyer, George Kennedy,  James Gregory, Dennis Hopper, and others.

The bitter end comes in town after the youngest Elder bro is killed back when the bridge is blown up and Tom (Martin) is shot in the back and the other bro was shot in the chest, all for trying to make up for past sins to make Katie happy in her after life. No one could understand them, except for Mary Gordon (Hyer), and she was't too sure about them, either. A fine kettle of fish.

All in all, the photography (filmed in Mexico), the action, and the acting was just fine and may have been one of Wayne's better movies. Pick up the DVD and enjoy or just watch the TV movie. It'll be back around before you know it.  



  1. I saw they were running a bunch of John Wayne movies, and a bunch of Arnold movies too. I don't know what the occassion was.

    1. They have a lot of time to fill up.

  2. Honesty is the best policy. I've never seen The Sons of Katie Elder. I have many favorite John Wayne movies, from "Angel and the Bad Man" to "The Searchers" to "Big Jake," but that one has eluded me --even in this digital age! I'm taking your post as a corrective...

  3. Great cast. I have grown to like Dean Martin in westerns. Hard to believe he and Jerry Lewis were a team in early days. They seem so temperamentally different off screen. Lewis, though a clown, has wanted to be taken so seriously in public life. Martin, with highball in hand, seemed deliberately to take nothing seriously, though when you watch him in his westerns, you suspect there's some emotional depth under the surface.