Tony Mastroianni Review Collection
Wayne-Mitchum Western Moves at a Good Gallop
Cleveland Press July 15, 1967
'EI Dorado" is just what its title and cast indicate that it is—a western, and not a bad one at that.
While it will not make movie history, "El Dorado" will provide a diverting two hours for western fans and those who don't care about such things might still find some enjoyment in it should they stumble across it.
Director Howard Hawks keeps things going at a gallop—right through the familiar situations, cliches and characters. It's diverting if never surprising.
THIS YARN is the one about a range war in which a greedy land baron is hiring professional gun fighters to wipe out an honest family which stands in the way of a complete takeover.
Wayne is the gunhand who will not fight for the wrong side and Mitchum is an old pal who also is the town sheriff.
The script allows for more than one climax and provides several complications. There is Mitchum hitting the bottle and Wayne's problem of getting him sober before one of the big fights for example.
The final showdown finds Wayne with one arm paralyzed and Mitchum on crutches. You won't believe it, but if you did you wouldn't have gone in the first place.
Wayne is his usual sturdy self and Mitchum is a funny, grimy drunk. Arthur Hunnicut is perfect as the old, grizzled Indian fighter and almost steals the movie. James Caan adds a flavor of humor as a greenhorn and Charlene Holt and Michele Carey decorate the scenery in small roles.