“You women are always raising hell about one thing when it’s something else you’re really sore about. Don’t you think it’s about time you tell us what really put the burr under your saddle, Pilgram?”
Andrew V. McLaglen’s Western comedy McLintock! stars John Wayne as rich cattle rancher, George Washington (GW) McLintock, living in the Mesa Verde section of northwestern New Mexico around the turn of the 20th century. Maureen O’Hara plays his mean wife, Katherine, who left him years earlier but has returned to request a divorce. GW loves her & refuses to give her one.
Their beautiful daughter, Becky (Stephanie Powers), is on her way back home from college. Stephanie, now 70, is still a very active actress. She is currently touring the country as Tallulah Bankhead in Looped, a play about the tipsy star as she re-recorded (or looped) a line from Silvio Narizzano’s cult classic Die! Die! My Darling! while drunk (looped). In Die! Die! My Darling!, Tallulah plays Mrs. Trefoile, the crazed mother of Patricia Carroll’s fiancé before he was killed in a car accident. Stephanie portrays Patricia and, of course, Mrs. Trefoile blames her for her son’s death and terrorizes her. The play is at the Bushnell in Hartford from May 7-12.
The Duke’s second son, Patrick, and Yvonne DeCarlo of Lily Munster fame round out the main characters. Patrick is the self-confident Devlin Warren who has his eyes on Becky. DeCarlo plays his beautiful, young widowed mother, of whom Katherine is jealous but would never GW know. Becky’s response to Devlin is a milder version of how Katherine treats GW.
The film is a Western version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. But John Wayne, who won an Oscar in 1970 for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit at the 42nd Academy Awards, claimed it also to be a statement of his conservative politics. GW McLintock doesn’t trust big government, and the unscrupulous Governor of the Territory, Cuthbert Humphreys (Robert Lowery), is an obvious slight to the then Senator Hubert H. Humphrey. But today’s conservative political movement is very different from the policies supported by conservatives in the early ‘60’s. GW believes in the conservation of the land & natural resources, the fair treatment of Native Americans, and respect for those with differing opinions: All of which are generally regarded as liberal ideals now, 50 years later.
In 1991, the Wayne Estate, which owned McLintock! failed to extend the copyrights to it & it fell into the public domain. This means that the copyrights to the movie are in the hands of the general public. Most of the movies I Blog are in the public domain. A film is in the public domain either because it was copyrighted before 1923, or the copyright or its extension were filed incorrectly or never at all. I have received many suggestions to Blog great classic films such as Sunset Boulevard, Casablanca, and Citizen Kane of late. But those films are not in the public domain. Since public domain motion pictures are owned by the general public, a license isn’t needed to show them, and so I can find good versions of them & embed the entire film at the end of the Blog. I’ve done so with Andrew V. McLaglen’s McLintock! It’s a little longer than most of the films I’ve Blogged, but well worth the 2+ hour investment. John Wayne is, as usual, The Duke in it. I think you’ll enjoy it. 3 Stars!