πŸŽ₯ Paint Your Wagon – 1969

The Story …

When a wagon crashes into a ravine, prospector Ben Rumson finds two adult occupants, brothers, one of whom is dead and the other of whom has a broken arm and leg.

While burying the dead man, gold dust is discovered at the grave site. Ben stakes a claim on the land and adopts the surviving brother as his “Pardner” while he recuperates …

Pardner hopes to make enough in the gold rush to buy some land and is suspicious of the fast-living Ben. Ben claims that while he is willing to fight, steal, and cheat at cards, he will never betray a partner. Ben will share the spoils of prospecting on the condition that Pardner takes care of him in his moments of drunkenness and melancholy.

After the discovery of gold, “No Name City” springs up as a tent city, with the miners alternating between wild parties and bouts of loneliness. The men become frustrated with the lack of female companionship, and the arrival of Jacob Woodling, a Mormon with two wives, is enough to catch everyone’s attention.

The miners persuade Woodling to sell one of his wives to the highest bidder. Elizabeth, Jacob’s younger wife, agrees to be sold, as she is unsatisfied with her current husband.

Still drunk, Ben winds up with the highest bid for Elizabeth. After being readied for the wedding by the other miners, he is married to Elizabeth under “mining law”, with Ben being granted exclusive rights to her.

Elizabeth, not content to be seen as property, threatens to shoot Ben on their wedding night if she is not treated with respect.

Despite believing Ben is not the type to settle down, she views their arrangement as acceptable if he will build a cabin to provide her with some security for when he inevitably leaves. Ben, impressed by her determination, enlists the miners to help him keep this promise, and Elizabeth rejoices in having a proper home.

News comes of the pending arrival of “six French tarts” to a neighboring town via stagecoach. A plan is hatched to divert the stagecoach under false pretenses and bring the women to “No Name City”, thus providing the other miners with female companionship. Ben heads up the mission and leaves Elizabeth in the care of Pardner. The two fall in love.

Elizabeth, also still loving Ben, convinces them that “if a Mormon man can have two wives, why can’t a woman have two husbands?” The polyandrous arrangement works until the town becomes large enough that civilized people begin to settle there.

A parson begins to make a determined effort to persuade the townsfolk to give up their evil ways. Meanwhile, Ben and a group of miners discover that gold dust is dropping through the floor boards of many saloons. They tunnel under all the businesses to get the gold.

A group of new settlers is rescued from the snow, and the strait-laced family is invited to spend the winter with Elizabeth and Pardner, who is assumed to be her only husband.

Ben is left to fend for himself. In revenge, he introduces one of the family, the naive Horton Fenty, to the pleasures of a local saloon and brothel. This leads to Elizabeth dismissing both Ben and Pardner from the log cabin, and Pardner takes to gambling.

During a bull-and-bear fight, the rampaging bull falls into the tunnel complex dug by Ben and the others and knocks out all of the support beams, causing the streets and buildings to collapse. Eventually, the town is destroyed entirely. Ben departs for other gold fields. Before this, Pardner reveals his real name to Ben: Sylvester Newel. Elizabeth and Pardner reconcile and plan to stay.

“A musical extravaganza! …”

Credits :

  • Directed by : Joshua Logan

  • Screenplay by : Alan Jay Lerner, Paddy Chayefsky (adaptation)

  • Based on : Paint Your Wagon by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

  • Produced by : Alan Jay Lerner

  • Cinematography : William A. Fraker

  • Edited by : Robert C. Jones

  • Music by : Lerner and Loewe

  • Additional Song composer : AndrΓ© Previn

  • Songs orchestrated and conducted by : Nelson Riddle

  • Production Companies : Alan Jay Lerner Productions and The Malpaso Company

  • Distributed by : Paramount Pictures

  • Release Date : October 15, 1969

Cast :

  • Lee Marvin as Ben Rumson

  • Clint Eastwood as Sylvester Newel/”Pardner”

  • Jean Seberg as Elizabeth

  • Harve Presnell as Rotten Luck Willie

  • Ray Walston as “Mad Jack” Duncan

  • Tom Ligon as Horton Fenty

  • Alan Dexter as The Parson

  • William O’Connell as Horace Tabor

  • Ben Baker as Haywood Holbrook

  • Alan Baxter as Mr. Fenty

  • Paula Trueman as Mrs. Fenty

  • Robert Easton as Atwell

  • Geoffrey Norman as Foster

  • H.B. Haggerty as Steve Bull

  • Terry Jenkins as Joe Mooney

  • Karl Bruck as Schermerhorn

  • John Mitchum as Jacob Woodling

  • Sue Casey as Sarah Woodling

  • Eddie Little Sky as Indian

  • Harvey Parry as Higgins

  • H.W. Gim as Wong

  • William Mims as Frock-coated man

  • Roy Jenson as Hennessey

  • Pat Hawley as Clendennon

Film Information :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paint_Your_Wagon_(film)

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GENRE : #MUSICAL-MOVIES

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