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MacKenna's Gold (Bilingual)
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Gregory Peck and Omar Sharif battle to find a legendary cache of gold in this spectacular Wild Westadventure. In the Arizona Territory of the 1870s, Marshal Sam MacKenna (Peck) is the only living person who knows the tortuous route to the fabulous "Canon Del Oro". During his journey, MacKenna is captured by Colorado (Sharif), a brutal Mexican bandit who has long sought his death. But if MacKennais to lead the cutthroat gang to the lost treasure, Colorado must keep him alive. En route, MacKenna and the outlaw band are joined by renegade soldiers, vengeful indians, cold-blooded killers and "gentlemen from town." As they near the golden canyon, all but MacKenna are swept by a sudden fever - the naked greed for gold. MACKENNA'S GOLD is one of the most exciting Westerns ever made.
Attempting to do for Westerns what his Guns of Navarone had done for World War II action epics, director J. Lee Thompson crafted Mackenna's Gold as a lavish, absurdly ambitious variation on Erich Von Stroheim's Greed, resulting in a last-gasp Western so eager to encompass the genre's traditions that it turns into a big, silly, wildly entertaining mess. Gregory Peck surely had more serious intentions when he signed on, and he brings prestigious gravitas to his glum role as Marshall Mackenna, who gets shanghaied into searching for the gold-filled canyon of an elusive Apache legend. The rest of the 1969 film labors to undermine Peck's respectable demeanor; how else to explain Omar Sharif as a Mexican villain, Julie Newmar as a hot-blooded Apache temptress (with underwater nude scenes that were celebrated in Playboy magazine), and a jaw-dropping finale that's so ridiculous it's impressive in spite of itself?
Formerly blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman and composer Dimitri Tiomkin joined up to coproduce the film, and one can only imagine how Anthony Mann or Howard Hawks might've handled Foreman's sensible script. Thompson goes for scenic splendor, heavy action, and heavier emotions, casting everything at a fever pitch that's wildly enjoyable without betraying his "serious" intentions. A stable of Hollywood veterans (Eli Wallach, Raymond Massey, Edward G. Robinson, and others) appear in lively supporting roles--they're all dispatched in a garish Apache ambush--and Camilla Sparv is an ingénue with plenty of fighting attitude. Gold fever reaches its peak, along with some awesome special effects, and divine intervention reaches new heights of intensity. Top it off with José Feliciano's theme song, and you'll be in zany Western heaven. --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
The final episode is pure fabrication, but spectacular enough to make up for it. This one's a winner and you don't need to care or know about the Adams legend of lost gold to appreciate it.
The McKenna version of the legend actually centers on Jacob Snively, the German or Duchman in Adams' tale. Snively fought at San Jacinto, served as Paymaster General for the Republic of Texas, raided commerce on the Santa Fe Trail as a 'land privateer' for the Republic and drifted west in 1849. The German found his talent by striking gold and starting several gold rushes in Arizona and New Mexico. (Snively was killed by Apaches in 1871) J. Frank Dobie's book combines several conflicting accounts given by Adams. John Brewer's story, (another survivor) varies considerably from the other accounts.
The story is about the gangster Colorado, who kidnaps Marshal McKenna. He believes that McKenna has seen a map which leads to a rich vein of gold in the mountains and forces him to show him the way. But they're not the only ones who're after the gold; soon they meet a group of "honorable" citizens and the cavalry crosses their way too - and that is even before they enter Indian territory.
There is lots of action: shootouts, underwater fight scenes, and an exciting ending that almost makes you forget about what a waste of talent the rest of the movie was!
I can't say that I didn't like this movie, because I did, but I can't say I really liked this movie either. It is just that type of movie that you either love...or hate! You make the descision!
appropriate context because it's very special for any Russian male in
my generation (I am 33).
The only Westerns we were allowed to see
were produced by East German studio DEFA with only one star - the
Yugoslav hunk Goiko Mititch. And mostly only one plot - the greedy
prospectors come to take the Indian land and the feathered patriots
put on the warpaint, flex their muscles - they all were very athletic,
unlike the whites who were depicted as the degenerates in every sense
- and gallop to sweep the terrain clean of that capitalist scum.
we were grateful even for that substitute, tired of seeing the other
Red Against White flicks - the films about the Russian Civil War
heroes killing the White Guards by hundreds for the sake of Mother
Russia's communist future.
And then "Zoloto Makkeni" was
imported. Why? The message was clear - "Look at these gold-crazed
American bastards! Preachers, journalists, merchants,
bandidos,soldiers, adventurers - all of them are ready to sell their
Momma's for a speck of golden dust! And this time they testify
themselves, not our East German friends." -
But who cared about
all that? The authentic American Western! With the real Indians
instead of East German Olympic Team painted in gouache! The film's
mildly idiotic background commentaries did not make us flinch - they
fit into the didactic tradition we were used to.
And the opening
song! It was translated in Russian and sung in the film by the
Russia's much-adored sweet-voiced drunk Valeri Obodzinskij.Read more ›
If there's anything for me to critize I guess it would be some of the hokey special effects. I still laugh every time I see the obvious models used in the near death scene on the creaky bridge. Still I can overlook some minor faults in such a great western. Not perfect yet few movies are. I give it 5 stars for sheer entertainment.
One other bit of critique is to the 5.0 soundtrack. Why leave out the subwoofer? It would have been great in the final earthquake sequence.
Most recent customer reviews
Désolant! Il n'est pas bilingue , en français tel que affiché doublage :français.Published 23 days ago by Client d'Amazon
Used to own the VHS copy but then the VHS player died. This was a great purchase for a classic western film. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Amit Varman Lal
From May of 1969 comes a gritty western with all the flavour of the Old West.
The cast of characters,both main and supporting is superb. Read more
Although, it has been trashed in the West, it was one of the biggest hits in India in those days. Movie audiences still feel its magic as one of the finest epic tales. Read morePublished on July 19 2003 by Phani
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