Sunday, Apr 2024
Director: Henry Hathaway
Length: 122 mins.
Theme Song: Theme Music: Elmer Bernstein
Released: 1965

sons of katie elder 1965The Duke and Henry Hathaway team up to produce another solid Western. Hathaway and Wayne's later effort; True Grit (1968), is the pairs' most popular film. But The Sons of Katie Elder is no dog. It tells the story of four brothers reunited at their mothers funeral. The brothers had drifted away from their mother and their old homestead. As they return, they discover that their mother was cheated out of her home. John Elder (John Wayne) is a gunslinger and elder Elder. He rallies the brothers Tom (Dean Martin), Bud (Michael Anderson Jr.), and Matt ( Earl Holliman). Wayne's swagger is in top form as he seeks vengeance.

Dennis Hopper and George Kennedy also put in good performances. Kennedy is a gunslinger hired to neutralize John Elder and Hopper plays the son of the evil, home stealing, Morgan Hastings.

The story moves along at a brisk pace but does not make it entirely clear if Katie Elder is the Kate Elder, the famous Tombstone (map) prostitute and companion of Doc Holliday. Regardless, plenty of action including the Duke wacking Kennedy in the puss with an ax handle make for a delightful and entertaining view.



  • John Wayne ... John Elder
  • Dean Martin .... Tom Elder
  • Martha Hyer .... Mary Gordon
  • Michael Anderson Jr. .... Bud Elder
  • Earl Holliman .... Matt Elder
  • Jeremy Slate .... Deputy Ben Latta
  • James Gregory .... Morgan Hastings
  • Paul Fix .... Sheriff Billy Wilson
  • George Kennedy.... Curley
  • Dennis Hopper .... Dave Hastings
  • Sheldon Allman .... Judge Harry Evers
  • John Litel .... Minister
  • John Doucette .... Undertaker
  • James Westerfield .... the banker
  • Rhys Williams .... Charlie Bob Striker
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