McLintock! (1963)

Never such a tender love story! Never such a savage showdown! Never such restless natives!

Aging rancher George Washington McLintock, a wealthy self-made man, is forced to deal with numerous personal and professional problems. Seemingly everyone wants a piece of his enormous farmstead, including high-ranking government men, McLintock's own sons and nearby Native Americans. As McLintock tries to juggle his various adversaries, his wife, who left him two years previously, suddenly returns. But she isn't interested in her husband -- she wants custody of their daughter.

Why does it have to be you that stirs me?
McLintock! is directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and written by James Edward Grant. It stars John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Yvonne De Carlo, Patrick Wayne and Stefanie Powers. Music is by Frank De Vol and cinematography by William H. Clothier. It's a Panavision/Technicolor production and locations used for the shoot were Nogales, Old Tucson and San Rafael Ranch State Park, Arizona, USA. A loose reworking of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, plot finds Duke Wayne as cattle baron George Washington McLintock, whose estranged wife Katherine (O'Hara) returns with daughter Becky (Powers) to the family town after a two year absence. Having left George originally on suspicion of him committing adultery, she now wants a divorce and with it full custody of Becky. George isn't keen on the idea and Katherine's arrival in town also signals the arrival of chaos.
Produced out of John Wayne's own Batjac Productions company, McLintock! became one of Wayne's most successful and popular movies of the 60's. Played for laughs, film sees Wayne surrounded by family and friends and this shines thru in the final product. It looks, and was, a fun production, its values may be dated a great deal now, but it's easy to see why the paying public warmed to it. Wayne is in his element as the tough, hard drinking and no nonsense title character, and those playing off of him are in tune with what's needed to make the comedy work. The action is well staged by McLaglen, especially a free for all punch up at a mud pit, and Clothier's photography beautifully brings the Arizona locales out from the screen. A touch too long at just over two hours, it still manages to last the course to deliver the goods for the western/comedy seeker. 7/10

United Artists, Batjac Productions by Andrew V. McLaglen, James Edward Grant.
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Stefanie Powers.

Genres: Comedy, Romance, Western

Keywords: spanking cigarette smoking rancher comanche cattle baron

11/13/1963

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