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El Dorado

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Product Overview

Two rugged gunfighters help their troubled sheriff friend rid his small town of a band of desperate greedy cattlemen.


Studio Paramount
SKU 210795967
UPC 097361423340
UPC 14 00097361423340
Format DVD
Release Date 5/19/2009
Rating NR
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Wayne,John
Link Search Link
ReviewSource DVD Times
Review El Dorado, the third of four Westerns that Howard Hawks made with John Wayne, is basically a spin on the plot of Rio Bravo with Robert Mitchum in the role of the drunk instead of Dean Martin. But it's unfair to dismiss the film in the way some critics have as been simply a carbon copy of the earlier success. While El Dorado is less purely entertaining than Rio Bravo it's more thoughtful and moving, using its predecessor as a starting point rather than a simple template...El Dorado is, as you would expect, very well made by a team of Hollywood professionals. Harold Rosson's lighting is often stunning, especially in the night scenes, lending even the more studio bound scenes a feeling of authenticity. Nelson Riddle's music score is memorable, notably the splendid title song, and the editing is often very sharp, notably in the bell tower sequence. Leigh Brackett's script is packed with memorable lines - Wayne's description of his alcoholic friend is particularly fine, "A tin star with a drunk pinned on it". The original novel on which the film is based, "The Stars In Their Courses" by Harry Brown is considerably more downbeat but I think Brackett and Hawks made the right decision in lightening it while keeping some of the more serious elements since the darker overtones of the finished film are more than enough to give it substance...I don't think that El Dorado is one of Hawks' best films - it's too rambling and repetitive to really gel in the way Rio Bravo does - but it is a hugely enjoyable Western that is always intelligent and entertaining...It's certainly Hawks' last film of any real note; Rio Lobo from 1971 is mildly enjoyable but a great disappointment in most departments. As the last hurrah of a great director, El Dorado can be considered essential viewing.
Reviewer Mike Sutton
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review "El Dorado" is a tightly directed, humorous, altogether successful Western, turned out almost effortlessly, it would seem, by three old pros: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and director Howard Hawks. You could call it, of course a "John Wayne Western." I guess that means it has the Duke in the saddle once again, drawl and all, making his laconic comments on the state of the universe and marching through old Western cliches. But "El Dorado" is more than that. It is a very good John Wayne Western...It is long, but it is quickly paced. Howard Hawks is too good a director to depend upon stereotyped violence to keep the interest of the audience, and his well-made scenes between Wayne, Mitchum, Arthur Hunicutt and James Cann never lag for a moment...Hawks fashions scene after scene of quiet, earthy humor from this situation. Without great care, the movie could have degenrated into a put-on, but Hawks plays it straight and never allows his actors to take that last fatal step in overacting. For fans of the Western, there's a light-hearted but symbolic scene where Wayne tries to teach the kid the tricks of the cowboy trade. For students of the cinema, Hawks ribs Francois Truffaut in a scene where Mitchum shoots, not the player, but the piano. For people who like well-made, entertaining movies with suspense, violence, horses, colorful characters, lots of shooting and a few pretty girls, "El Dorado" is about the most entertaining Western to turn up this year...A footnote: Pauline Kael, the New Republic's film critic, claims "El Dorado" has the second worst lighting she's seen in a movie. That's not bad lighting, that's good old Howard Hawks with all of his shadows and kerosene lamps and murky atmosphere and dark alleys (remember "The Big Sleep"?). Miss Kael needs her glasses scrubbed.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
DVD, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Wayne,John
Label Paramount Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Channel 4 Film Wayne and Mitchum pair up for the first time in a western, and very good it is too.
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid El Dorado is an effortless movie, and it draws you in easily.
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Typically smooth Hawks mix of comedy and action, with zesty Leigh Brackett script and exemplary performances...
TV Guide ...a poignant meditation on the passing of the old and the coming of the new.
Variety An excellent oater drama, laced with adroit comedy and action relief, and set off by strong casting, superior direction and solid production.

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