McLintock! (Authentic Collector's Edition)

 
9781415709047: McLintock! (Authentic Collector's Edition)
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John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara. An all-out battle of the sexes takes place when a powerful cattle baron's wife returns to town after a two-year absence. 1963/color/127 min/NR/widescreen.

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Review:

John Wayne's most popular vehicle of the 1960s is a broad, boisterous comedy-Western and a family movie in every sense--in subject matter, casting, personnel, and the audience it aims to bear-hug. Wayne and his Quiet Man partner Maureen O'Hara reprise their large-boned lovers' quarrel in a Wild West variation on The Taming of the Shrew, while a cast of familiar supporting players do their best to avoid becoming collateral damage.

The picture is fascinating as an attempt to adjust and update the Duke as all-American icon. Rancher George Washington McLintock owns most of the town that bears his name, but James Edward Grant's screenplay is at didactic pains to establish the benevolence and socio-political enlightenment of his reign. G.W.'s former Indian foes have become his pals, he enjoys nothing so much as playing chess with his Jewish merchant buddy (Jack Kruschen), and he's tolerant--as his fellow landowners are not--of the homesteaders crowding into the territory. In what now seems like prescience about where things were headed in the 1960s, he even does his best to achieve rapport with (gasp!) impatient youth.

McLintock! was the first movie produced by eldest son Michael Wayne, and the first major assignment for director Andrew V. McLaglen (son of Quiet Man costar Victor). It steals like a bandit from a host of much better movies, but the Duke's great good humor and professionalism redoubtably anchor the proceedings. --Richard T. Jameson

Additional Features:

McLintock! has long been available only in coarse, pan-and-scan public-domain videos, but the Authentic Collector's Edition from Paramount restores its original Panavision format and proper Technicolor luster. But after the banquet of informative extras accompanying the previously released The High and the Mighty and Island in the Sky, the side dishes on McLintock! seem a mite skimpy.

"The Batjac Story" on H&M recounted the founding and operating style of producer-star John Wayne's company; "The Batjac Story, Pt. 2" on this DVD is focused on elevating the memory and standing of the late Michael Wayne, Duke's eldest son, a production assistant on earlier Batjac endeavors and the duly credited producer of the later ones, starting with McLintock!. Even at 15 minutes this hagiography outstays its welcome, thanks to a plethora of cliche testimonials and a shortage of Michael-with-dad stills to throw onscreen.

Leading lady Maureen O'Hara and screen daughter Stefanie Powers contribute reminiscences of the making of McLintock!, with O'Hara remarkably forthright in asserting her irresistibility as a costar, and Powers setting a land record for show-business bromides collected in one place and number of times she says the cast and crew were "like a family." More satisfying is "A Good Ol' Fashioned Fight," a colloquy of stuntmen and stunt directors blustering about the staging of fistfight scenes. Host Leonard Maltin's introductions are more satisfying than those on H&M; here he's greatly helped by not having to pretend that this is one great motion picture we got here, folks. He and the marvelously droll film historian Frank Thompson supply running commentary, supplemented occasionally by excerpts from O'Hara, Michael Pate (who played the old Indian chief in the movie), Michael Wayne, and others. Maltin and Thompson know their stuff, and are especially gratifying in their loving attention to unsung character actors and atmosphere people. --Richard T. Jameson

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ISBN 10: 1415709041 ISBN 13: 9781415709047
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