Classic Film Review- The Sons of Katie Elder

The Sons of Katie Elder

This 1965 Western film, The Sons of Katie Elder, brings together some great actors: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Dennis Hopper, Martha Hyer, Michael Anderson Jr., Earl Holliman, James Gregory, Paul Fix, Jeremy Slate, George Kennedy, and it is all brought together by director Henry Hathaway. 

Four brothers John, Tom, Bud, and Matt reunite in Clearwater, Texas in 1898 for their mother’s funeral. They soon realize that their deadbeat father gambled their family ranch away in a card game. This has the sons band together when the sheriff tells them that their father died under mysterious circumstances.

They begin their investigation against a corrupt gunsmith named Morgan Hastings, who pretends to show regret at their loss when in secret, he hires a gunman named Curly in preparation for a war with Katie Elder’s son. 

However, as the sons get closer and closer to solving the mystery around their father’s death, Hastings frames them for the murder of the sheriff, forcing the sons in a showdown with Hastings and his men. 

The film is based on a historical incident that happened in Graham, Texas. The story of the film is  very different, but it is interesting to see that it is based on a true event in Texas history. It is one of John Wayne’s best films and it carries a lot of weight in film history. 

FAVORITE QUOTE: I don’t want to be rich and respectable. I just want to be like the rest of you. 

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence and language 

August is Texas Month here! We’re focusing on a lot of articles surrounding the Lone Star State. Be sure to subscribe for more classic film reviews. 


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