Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
John Wayne ... Cole Thornton
Robert Mitchum ... El Dorado Sheriff J.P. Harrah
James Caan ... Alan Bourdillion Traherne ('Mississippi')
Charlene Holt ... Maudie
Paul Fix ... Dr. Miller
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Bull Harris
Michele Carey ... Josephine (Joey) MacDonald
R.G. Armstrong ... Kevin MacDonald
Edward Asner ... Bart Jason
Christopher George ... Nelse McLeod
Marina Ghane ... Maria
Robert Donner ... Milt (McLeod gang)
John Gabriel ... Pedro (McLeod gang)
Johnny Crawford ... Luke MacDonald
Adam Roarke ... Matt MacDonald
Director: Howard Hawks
DivX 5 / MP3 : Dual Audio
Audio 1: Spanish / Espanol
Audio 2: English / Ingles
Unless you count their joint appearance in The Longest Day, El Dorado deserves its place in Hollywood history for being the only co-starring effort of John Wayne and Robert Mitchum.
Besides being good friends Wayne and Mitchum were both known for being able to drink just about anyone else in the film business under the table and still report to work in the morning, lines letter perfect. But Mitchum was not allowed in the Wayne home because Pilar Wayne never forgave him for ruining their honeymoon when Mitchum backed out of Blood Alley and Wayne had to star as well as produce it.
I also think that the Duke was leery about Mitchum stealing too many scenes which he does when they are on the screen together. In this tighter and faster remake of Rio Bravo, Wayne is his usual stand up hero, rough and tough, but who lives by a code. Mitchum is the flawed one. During an interlude of several months in the film, Mitchum becomes enamored of an unseen woman, loses her, and becomes a drunk.
Which leads me to one of the funniest scenes ever in a Wayne film. When Christopher George and fellow gunmen are hired by villain Ed Asner to run R.G. Armstrong and his family off their ranch, Wayne has to sober up Sheriff Mitchum and fast.
Every time I watch El Dorado, I get hysterical every time I watch James Caan pour a homemade remedy down Mitchum's throat with Wayne and Arthur Hunnicutt holding him down. And the reactions afterwards, absolutely priceless. This is where Mitchum steals the movie.
As in many a Howard Hawks film, there is a theme of professionalism that runs through it. Whether it's Cary Grant and his fellow pilots flying over treacherous terrain in South America, Humphrey Bogart with his charter boat business in the Caribbean, or Wayne and Mitchum going up against fellow professional Christopher George, it's doing the job and doing it well for it's own reward.
The final gunfight is also a classic. Let's just say that Mitchum and Wayne are not at their best, but they make up for it with some help from interested friends.
This is one of the best films, in the top 10 for both these guys and shouldn't be missed.
* John Wayne starred in Rio Bravo (1959), and after reading the script for "El Dorado" he asked to play J.P. Hara, but the part went to Robert Mitchum.
* The opening credits feature a montage of original paintings that depict various scenes of cowboy life in the Old West. The artist was Olaf Wieghorst, who appears in the film as the Gunsmith, Swede Larsen.
* The poem recited by Mississippi is an actual poem called "El Dorado" by Edgar Allan Poe.
* Robert Mitchum revealed in an interview that when Howard Hawks asked him to be in the film, Mitchum asked what was the story of the film. Hawks reportedly replied that the story didn't matter because the film had some "great characters".
* Robert Mitchum's character was wounded and needed to use a crutch, but Mitchum would switch which arm he used with the crutch through out shooting. The continuity was so poor that Wayne (who actually worked continuity in silents while a star college football player, a method used by Hollywood fans to slip players some spending money) had his character mention it in one of the last scenes. The director enjoyed it so much he left it in the movie.
* The bartender that Robert Mitchum's character shoots in the saloon is played by his brother, actor/writer John Mitchum.
* Shooting started in late 1965. The movie was trade screened to exhibitors on 15 November 1966 but not released until June 1967.
* The poem "El Dorado" has four verses. James Caan's character recites three, omitting the second, which laments the aging knight's failure to locate Eldorado. He recites the first verse and part of the fourth riding with Wayne after they meet for the first time, the third when Wayne is about to ride out for the final gunfight, and the complete fourth when he himself takes up the second wagon's reins.
* The ingredients that Mississippi recites for Johnny Diamond's recipe to sober up J. P. Hara are: cayenne pepper, hot mustard powder, ipecac, asafoetida, and croton oil. Ipecac is a strong emetic, asafoetida is a spice known for its strong sulfurous odor, and croton oil is a potent purgative. Anyone who administered this combination in real life would likely be shot a day or two later when the patient could finally leave the outhouse, assuming the unfortunate victim had not died of dehydration from the violent fluid diarrhea croton oil causes.
* The rifle that Bull Uses is an 1850 Colt Revolving Rifle.
* John Wayne did not get along with liberal actor Edward Asner during filming, and constantly referred to Asner as "that New York actor".
* Howard Hawks had a joke about the 58-year-old Wayne's age by showing him getting to know a girl (played by Charlene Holt), as opposed to romancing the girl played by Angie Dickinson in Rio Bravo (1959).
* Harry Brown wanted his novel, "The Stars in their Courses", removed from the opening credits because the film bore little resemblance to his book.
* Most of the scenes showing Wayne running were performed by a double.
* The scenes of the town during daytime were filmed on location, but all the nighttime scenes were filmed in the studio.
* According to 'James Caan' , during a break he and John Wayne got into an altercation over a game of chess. Caan accused Wayne of cheating. Robert Mitchum intervened.
"El Dorado" es una de las producciones menos satisfactorias del gran director Howard Hawks, un western que no es más que una revisitación de su estupenda película "Río Bravo", dirigida ocho años antes.
El estilo "invisible", que acuñara Andre Bazin para la clásica narrativa de gente como John Ford o Howard Hawks, sigue retratando a la perfección la interacción hombruna tan característica de las historias del autor americano, exponiendo unos personajes añosos y achacosos, pero fracasa en la perforación de esas ligazones personales para introducir plenamente al espectador dentro de la tensión interna de un relato escrito por Leigh Brackett, quien adapta una novela de Harry Brown titulada "The stars in their courses".
El conjunto del film carece de la fuerza que presidía las conexiones emocionales y situacionales de "Río Bravo". El poderío estelar del dúo Wayne/Mitchum no está suficientemente explotado e incluso se añora la presencia del ebrio Dean Martin de la primera cinta.
Un joven James Caan está bastante correcto en su papel, y aunque no canta tan bien como Ricky Nelson (su equivalente en "Río Bravo"), sí recita unos versos del gran literato Edgar Allan Poe sobre la búsqueda del Dorado.
En conjunto, la película, que diatriba de manera cínica sobre la vejez, la degeneración física y la autoestima personal, es un film irregular y supone un título menor en la espléndida filmografía de uno de los nombres esenciales del cine americano.