Friday, June 20, 2014

Paint Your Wagon (1969)

IMDb plot summary: Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.
Directed by Joshua Logan. Starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, and Jean Seberg.

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe have written two musicals I love (My Fair Lady and Camelot) and two musicals I loathe (Brigadoon and Gigi) so I had absolutely zero idea where this would fall. And it's... somewhere in the middle. There are a few good songs, a few boring ones, Clint Eastwood's a decent singer, Lee Marvin's an awful one.

Where this movie REALLY fails, though, is the plot, which meanders all over the place, continually setting up one thing as the story's central drama only to knock it down immediately and move on to the next. The final 10-15 minutes are solid, though, with both an enjoyably funny comedic ending and a more sentimental dramatic one. If most of the stuff in the middle had been pared down, it might have worked better. As it was, it's long and wandering and its strengths don't make up for its flaws.

1.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1418 out of 2152, entertainingly sandwiched between Superman Returns and Superman II.

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