El Dorado: in this classic Western, Howard Hawks is copying from a master; luckily, it’s from himself. In broad strokes, it follows Rio Bravo quite closely, but there are lots of new elements introduced that makes the story less pure. However, those also raise the stakes and alter the dynamics somewhat. Additionally, the characters on this film are very colorful and interesting, lending the film a lighter tone which is very welcome and entertaining. The cast is, in that sense, essential. Legends John Wayne and Robert Mitchum are quite solid, with Wayne playing the aging gunfighter with a conscience very naturally, while Mitchum’s recovering drunk is convincing; their easy repartee is one of the highlights. James Caan and Arthur Hunnicutt’s roles are lighter in tone, but are just right and don’t slide too far to become caricatures. Michele Carey, with her wild mane, makes a very good tomboy. Nelson Riddle’s varied musical score always feels right. Very nice group of locations. Editor John Woodcock gives the film a snappy pace, and keeps the action quick, subaltern to the story.
Read also: Rio Bravo
Read what I wrote before: El Dorado