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The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

Passed | | Western | 16 August 1965 (Brazil)
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3:14 | Trailer
Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

William H. Wright (screenplay), Allan Weiss (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,223 ( 383)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... John Elder
Dean Martin ... Tom Elder
Martha Hyer ... Mary Gordon
Michael Anderson Jr. ... Bud Elder
Earl Holliman ... Matt Elder
Jeremy Slate ... Ben Latta
James Gregory ... Morgan Hastings
Paul Fix ... Sheriff Billy Wilson
George Kennedy ... Curley
Dennis Hopper ... Dave Hastings
Sheldon Allman Sheldon Allman ... Harry Evers
John Litel ... Minister
John Doucette ... Hyselman
James Westerfield ... Mr. Vennar
Rhys Williams ... Charlie Striker
Edit

Storyline

The Elder boys return to Clearwater, Texas for their Mother's funeral. John, the eldest, is a well-known gunfighter and trouble follows him wherever he goes. The boys try to get their ranch back from the town's gunsmith who won it from their father in a card game, after which he was murdered. Troubles come, however, just because they carry the Elder name. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the four winds they came, the four brothers, their eyes smoking and their fingers itching... See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1965 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Sons of Katie Elder See more »

Filming Locations:

Hereford, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wallis-Hazen See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was due to begin in October 1964, but had to be delayed until January 1965 after John Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer. See more »

Goofs

The boxes of shells that Charlie is putting on the desk keep changing position. See more »

Quotes

Bud Elder: I'm going with you. I can draw pretty fast. We can be famous -- like the Dalton Brothers!
John Elder: They're famous -- but they're just a little bit dead. They were hung!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Dean Martin Show: Episode #1.2 (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
From the four winds four brothers came… Their eyes smoking and their fingers itching…
20 April 2008 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Katie Elder bore four sons… The day she was buried they all return to the Texas town of Clearwater to pay their last respects…

John (John Wayne) is the oldest, the toughest, the gunfighter… Texas, its bigness and its violence echoes in his empty soul… Tom (Dean Martin) is a different breed of hombre… He is good with a deck of cards and good with a gun—when he has to be… Matt (Earl Holliman) is the quiet one… Nobody ever called him yellow—twice… Bud (Michael Anderson, Jr.) is the youngest, but he is the rebel one...

At the funeral are Sheriff Billy Wilson (Paul Fix) and his grim young deputy, Ben Latta (Jeremy Slate) who's real conscientious about his job… Also at the burial, in addition to many townspeople, is the young Mary Gordon (Martha Hyer), the woman who tries the impossible…

Mary visits the four brothers, brings them food, and is sardonic about their desertion of their mother… Only Bud, who has been going to college, shows a possibility of becoming a fine, respecting young man…

As the brothers investigate into the past and present circumstances of their mother's life, they find the old place is no longer hers and that she was penniless…

John discovers that his father supposedly gambled away the ranch when he was pretty drunk and that on the same night he was shot in the back…The only witnesses are Morgan Hastings (James Gregory) and his son Dave (Dennis Hopper)… The sheriff warns the Elders to stop digging around and to stay out of trouble…

Realizing that the only tribute to Ma Elder would be for Bud to finish college, the brothers pledge themselves to that cause… Yet they feel the loss of the ranch was under peculiar circumstances, they decide to find out the truth…

Henry Hathaway was one of the great versatile directors whose Westerns have been as variable in quality as his other films…

Hathaway's strong points were atmosphere, character and authentic locations… In "The Sons of Katie Elder" he took particular care with locations, proud of the fact that he is one of the few directors who handle their own second-unit work, and when this element combines successfully with the other two the result can be impressive indeed…


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