Andrew V. McLaglen
John Wayne …. McLintock
Maureen O’Hara …. Katherine McLintock
Patrick Wayne …. Devlin Warren
Stefanie Powers …. Becky McLintock
Jack Kruschen …. Jake Birnbaum
Chill Wills …. Drago
Yvonne De Carlo …. Mrs. Louise Warren
Jerry Van Dyke …. Matt Douglas Jr
Edgar Buchanan …. Bunny Dull
Bruce Cabot …. Ben Sage
Perry Lopez …. Davey Elk
Strother Martin …. Agard
Gordon Jones …. Matt Douglas
Robert Lowery …. Gov. Cuthbert H. Humphrey
Hank Worden …. Curly Fletcher
Michael Pate …. Puma
The plays of William Shakespeare have often appeared on film out their traditional time periods. Baz Luhrmann transformed Romeo and Juliet into Romeo + Juliet and made Montagues and Capulets street gangs with guns instead of swords. Hamlet has been updated several times, with the last being in 2000 as Ethan Hawke played the Bard’s legendary antihero in a modern day New York City. Akira Kurosawa changed the setting for several plays with his adaptations of King Lear and Macbeth in Ran and Throne of Blood, both set in ancient Japan. The Director even tackled Hamlet in The Bad Sleep Well, which took place in the post WWII era. Having been put in so many settings before, it’s surprising how odd it is to see a version of the playwright’s work set in the American West.
In 1963, John Wayne starred in a film that would do just that. After appearing in some of the greatest Westerns of all time in The Searchers, Stagecoach, and Red River, Wayne was trying to expand his horizons as far as the genre went. He had previously dabbled in Comedy, which was successful, so he decided to have another go at it.
Making a variation on The Taming of the Shrew, McLintock! is the story of George Washington McLintock, a cattle baron in the Old West. G.W. has fought against the Comanche and carved his own empire out of an untamed American West, but his biggest battle he is still fighting. That one is against his wife Katherine (Maureen O’Hara), a witch of a woman who left G.W. years ago. Everything is fine until she returns to town, wanting a legal divorce and custody of their daughter (Stefanie Powers).
Both leads are just fine in their lead roles here. Wayne is, of course, varying very little on his standard John Wayne role. G.W. is the toughest man in the territory and commands respect from all around him. A subplot involving giving a young man named Devlin Warren (Patrick Wayne) a job goes a long way in showing his generosity.
Maureen O’Hara is a complete Tornado of a woman, harassing and ordering all the men around her. She almost makes her too unlikable, but when she comes around the moment is worth it. A rivalry for McLintock’s affections Yvonne De Carlo’s recently widowed Louise Warren is pretty funny with Katherine making a complete ass of herself.
The film in and of itself is only mildly funny. The dialogue isn’t as snappy as it could be and the prat falls, while numerous, start to kind of wear on you, but the film as a whole is mildly amusing. The funniest sequence is a great fistfight between a big a groups of settlers and McLintock’s riders. The fight takes place over a huge mud pit and Wayne gets to have a bit of fun making fun of his screen persona.
Less enjoyable is the backdrop of the Comanche nation losing their land to the American government. Wayne is constantly defending the Native Americans; the whole subplot really doesn’t come to anything big. There is a nice moment where G.W. defends the Tribe in court, but the Comanche are often just used as comedy characters in the picture.
Overall, the film is entertaining enough, but only mildly so. If you’re a big fan of John Wayne then I can recommendMcLintock! to you, but to go out of your way to do so. Wayne and Maureen O’Hara have a good chemistry together, but aren’t as good here as they are in The Quiet Man. It is easy to recommend the film to fans of brawls though, as the one in this film is exceptional.
This film has been presented on DVD before and the print on this version is by far the best. That’s not to say that this print doesn’t have problems here and there with grain and degradation, but the picture loss is minimal. The film is presented in a 2.35:1 Widescreen.
The soundtrack is fine here. There aren’t any obvious audio problems with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and the quality is consistent throughout.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentary, Introduction and Wrap Up with Leonard Maltin, 5 Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers.
Commentaries by Leonard Maltin, Frank Thompson, Maureen O’Hara, Stefanie Powers, Michael Pate, Michael Wayne and Andrew McLaglen – This track is pretty informative. There are a lot of little anecdotes that are pretty amusing. A lot of time is spent discussing the two Wayne sons, Patrick and Michael. Patrick costarred in this and many other pictures with his father and everyone speaks highly of him. Praise is also given to Michael Wayne, who made his producing debut here.
Special Introduction and Wrap Up with Leonard Maltin – While he may be overrated as a critic, Maltin is a capable film historian. Here he’s able to show off his chops too, enlightening several aspects of McLintock!‘s production.
The Batjac Story: The Legacy of Michael Wayne – Hosted by Leonard Maltin, this Featurette goes in depth on Wayne’s eldest son and his rise to be a major part in the history of Batjac, John Wayne’s production company. The Featurette also goes into great detail about the Duke’s relationship with his son.
Maureen O’Hara and Stefanie Powers Remember McLintock! – The two female stars of the film mostly discuss how great John Wayne was. Maureen O’Hara speaks at length on Wayne’s charisma and masculinity.
A Good Ol’ Fashion Fight – This is a great look at the film’s big brawl in the mud pit. Stunt men and as well as the film’s fight coordinator talk about how revolutionary it was for the time.
2 Minute Flight School – This has two stunt men showing how to throw a fake punch.
Corsets: Don’t Leave Home Without It – This is a Featurette dedicated to the look of the film’s costumes for women.
Trailers – You get the original Theatrical Trailer for McLintock! and other John Wayne features.