William J. (billystan3) from AUBURN, NY Reviewed on 11/18/2015...
I'm right there with the rest of you rating this film four out of five stars. this film and Cowboys are in my not so (unfortunately) humble opinion are in the top five films staring the one and only John Wayne.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Darlene B. from WHEATLAND, WY Reviewed on 12/1/2010...
Unfortunately, I am totally bias when it comes to John Wayne. His movies over the years have just gotten better. There is no better actor and his does his usual superb job in tThe Sons of Katie Elder. The story line is well done and all the actors are great. But what can I say, I am totally sappy for John Wayne movies.
3 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Anthony Casamassima | 04/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Sons Of Katie Elder is one of my all time favorite films and my two toddler age sons love it as well. The film starts out with funeral of Katie Elder who raised 4 sons. John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman and Michael Anderson Jr. From beginning to end, you can feel the passion of Katie Elder and her love for her sons is felt throughout the entire movie. It is a typical John Western, but with more added feeling. Martha Hyer as the only female seen in the film is wonderful. For me, one of the best parts was the character roles of some great old time character actors. Strother Martin, John Doucette and my two favorites, Paul Fix and John Litel. This is a movie that I can watch every couple of days and never tire of it.
One of the best."
One of the Duke's best
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 01/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1960s, John Wayne went through his first fight with cancer and won, and coming back to the big screen the Duke didn't disappoint with The Sons of Katie Elder his first movie back. Following their mother's death, the four Elder boys, John, the gunslinger, Tom, the gambler, Matt, the businessman, and Bud, the youngest, return home to Clearwater, Texas for her funeral. In hopes of setting things right, the Elders try to leave a memorial for their mother by clearing their name, but right away things go awry. Their father Bass was killed under suspicious circumstances and lost the family ranch in a card game so can the Elders figure out what happened all while leaving something to make their deceased mother proud? When it comes to John Wayne westerns, this one is a notch above the others. It's a good old-fashioned western with the good guys vs. the bad guys. There's some great locations in Durango, including the Mexican village from Major Dundee, and Elmer Bernstein turns in a lively western score that you'll be humming for days afterward. John Wayne fans and western fans alike will not be disappointed with this one.
Playing the oldest of the Elder brothers, John Wayne stars as John Elder, the gunslinger who sees his brothers for the first time in years at his mother's funeral. It's John who leads the effort to make a name for the family in honor of their much-beloved mother. Dean Martin plays Tom, the second oldest brother who's quick with cards and a gun. Wayne and Martin are great here together, just like in Rio Bravo. Earl Holliman and Michael Anderson JR are the other two brothers, Matt and Bud, who doesn't want to go back to college even at his brothers' encouragement. The chemistry among the four brothers is very believable and makes the movie more fun to watch because of their interactions. Paul Fix and Jermey Slate are very good as Sheriff Billy Wilson, the experienced and somewhat world weary peace officer, and Ben Latta, his trigger happy deputy. James Gregory is solid as slimy Morgan Hastings, a local rancher/businessman trying to make something of Clearwater. Martha Hyer is good as Mary Gordon, a woman who was a close friend of Katie. The more than solid supporting cast also includes George Kennedy as Curley, a gunslinger hired by Hastings, Dennis Hopper, John Doucette, John Qualen, and Strother Martin.
The DVD is a really good purchase with the widescreen presentation included here. You'd never know the movie is over 45 years old. The only special feature here is a theatrical trailer. The Sons of Katie Elder is an above average Duke western with a good blend of action, humor, and drama. Don't miss it!"
Four Wild Sons of a Murdered Father and a Devout, Defrauded
Jan Peczkis | Chicago IL, USA | 09/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The setting of this western is the town of Clearwater, TX (near Laredo), probably in the 1870's. The four sons of Katie Elder, who had not seen each other, or her, in years, come to her funeral. The eldest brother, John Elder (John Wayne), watches the funeral from a distance.
Why are some of the townspeople anxious for John Elder, a gunslinger, to leave the town as soon as possible after the funeral? The brothers do not get straight answers as to how it was that their mother had recently lost her property, and begin to smell a rat. They also learn that their father had been murdered, but no one will say who was responsible.
A woman who was a close friend of Katie Elder describes Mrs. Elder as a devout woman of character, and how disappointed she was in her four sons. At least some of Katie Elder's sons mailed her letters and money, but had otherwise gone down the wrong paths in life. Mrs. Elder at least wanted one of them to go to college, but he balked. The woman did not want to discuss the murder of Mr. Elder because Katie Elder didn't want vengeance and further violence.
Three of the brothers wanted to fulfill their mother's wishes that the remaining one go to college, but he continues to balk. John Elder keeps the pressure on.
Sibling rivalry exists even in adulthood. At one time, all four brothers are involved in a brawl. At another time, they drag each other into a body of water.
The conspiracy of silence about Mrs. Elder's property and her murdered husband begins to unravel despite the current owners' persistent efforts to have it stifled. In time, the current owners of Mrs. Elder's property frame the four sons for murder. The local law enforcement officials seem ready to believe the charge with no evidence, and a lynch mob surrounds the prison. There is a massive shootout, and three of the four brothers are wounded. Will any of these three survive? Will they be able to clear the Elder name of the murder charge? "
A touching and at times poetic western
Jan Peczkis | 01/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a vastly underrated western that deserves greater exposure. Its a wonderful morality play about a good woman's sons gone bad and the last chance they have to redeem themselves. John Wayne and Dean Martin are superb and the rousing musical score by Elmer Bernstien is itself worth the price of the video."
One of the Duke's best!
Anthony Casamassima | Middle Village, New York USA | 02/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a movie that was truely a great one. One sad note. This film started production right after John Wayne was told his cancer had returned..you can almost see the despair in his face. Very sad is the fact that most of the actors of this film are gone now. its a shame we never got to see what Katie elder looked like or even the farther..Too bad part 2 was never made..this had an ending that made you want to see more of what will happen to remaining sons after justice was made."