Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"McLintock" Pokes Fun at Wild West

Cleveland Press November 26, 1963

There's big John Wayne striding down the street of a western town. There's fire in his eyes.

Townspeople clear the way and fall behind him. His adversary ducks into a building. Wayne, undaunted, follows.

Wayne is hit, but he shrugs it off -- it was just a tomato.

At last he comes to grips with his opponent. Over his knee he turns her, and gives Maureen O'Hara a resounding spanking.

I TELL YOU, this is not the Wayne of my youth. Oh, he still does battle with men. There's a free-for-all in "McLintock" and one or two minor scraps.

But more and more in his recent films he's been battling women. Now this is no indication of waning strength. Heck, anyone can hit a man -- it takes real nerve to fight a woman.

Only once before in his younger days did he do such a thing. It was with Miss O'Hara in "The Quiet Man."

"McLINTOCK" is a western that is played for laughs.

Some homesteaders show up and there's the threat of battle with the ranchers.

And there's trouble brewing with an Indian tribe that is being moved off of its land.

But after these cliches are introduced they are allowed to die. Nothing develops in either situation. It's a though the writer and producer felt that at least a nod toward the traditlonal trappings was necessary.

THE MOVIE is about a wealthy rancher (Wayne) who controls everything in the territory except his wife (Miss O'Hara).

Then there's their pretty daughter (Stefanie Powers) back from school in the east. She's being courted by a dude (Jerry Van Dyke) and the housekeeper's son (Patrick Wayne, son of John).

Also around are Chill Wills and Jack Kruschen in solid comic performances.

DOMESTIC crises are resolved with a series of battles along the way including a free-wheeling slug fest at the edge of a mud hole.

Director Andrew McLaglen (son of Victor) has handled this one with broad strokes and plenty of movement.

It's conventional, it's cliche-ridden, but it's fun.