October 16, 2005

McLintock! - Wayne and O'Hara at odds

I watched McLintock! (1963) last night. It’s not the greatest movie in the John Wayne canon, but you know, I’ve always liked it.

From what I’ve seen online, it doesn’t rate that high with many people, but then it’s not the most western of westerns. It’s essentially a comedy – one that is sort of a John Wayne version of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew.

The movie sort of works off and on. There are about three big set pieces (like the mud fight and the inevitable confrontation between John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara). They work pretty well, but some of what goes on in between drags.

Still, I remember seeing this when I was young and loving it. I always like Wayne and O’Hara and while this is a far cry from The Quiet Man, it’s a fun film to watch. At least for me.

It’s a bit like Hatari! (another movie whose title ends in an exclamation mark). The story isn’t terribly important. Like a favourite TV show, you like it because of the characters – in this case, the usual Wayne and O-Hara characters. They’re fun to watch. You can’t help but like them.

Interesting how much brawling goes on in Wayne films. (By the way, while not a great movie, I'd definitely watch McLintock! before watching that other recent DVD release, The High and the Mighty.)

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