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The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)

aka The Sons of Katie Elder

"From the four winds they came, the four brothers, their eyes smoking and their fingers itching..."

Directed By: 
Details: 122 mins · English

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Taglines:

"From the four winds they came, the four brothers, their eyes smoking and their fingers itching..."

Plot:

The four adult sons of Katie Elder – John (John Wayne), who is a famous (or infamous) professional gunman; Tom (Dean Martin), a professional gambler; Bud (Michael Anderson, Jr.), the youngest brother and a college student; and Matt (Earl Holliman), who is an unsuccessful hardware dealer – reunite in their hometown of Clearwater, Texas, in 1898 for their mother's funeral, sharing regret that none of them has lived up to her high expectations of them.

The townspeople are unfriendly with John, the gunfighter, and Tom the gambler. Katie Elder was extremely well liked by everyone in the community, who were all aware of her honesty, her poverty and her undying love for the sons who neglected her. The brothers want to do something for Katie's sake, and their plan is to send youngest son Bud to college, raising money through a sale of another man's herd of horses, even though Bud wants to emulate his eldest brother.

Morgan Hastings (James Gregory) a gunsmith and rising entrepreneur, claims ownership of the Elders' ranch after their father Bass Elder's death, claiming to have won it from him in a game of cards; Bass was afterwards shot in the back, and the killer is still unknown. Hastings hides a hostile attitude towards the brothers and brings in a hired gun, Curley (George Kennedy), just in case. Gradually, the Elders suspect foul play when Hastings claims Bass lost the ranch in a game of Blackjack, while John, in a ruse, states their father wouldn't have been caught dead playing Blackjack. As it turns out, Hastings had indeed claimed the Elder ranch by murdering Bass Elder.

When Hastings learns about the brothers' investigations, Hastings frames them for murder of the sheriff (Paul Fix) and, not content with seeing them going to prison, arranges an ambush in which Matt is killed and Bud seriously injured. John and Tom take it upon themselves to avenge the family by going after Hastings, and Tom manages to kidnap Hasting's weak-willed son Dave (Dennis Hopper), although he is seriously injured in the process. Hastings shoots Dave in an attempt to prevent him from testifying, but in the presence of John Elder and the local judge, Dave manages to relate the tale of his father's crimes before he dies. Subsequently, John takes up arms and avenges his family in the end by blowing Hastings up in his own gunstore.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2001-06-05