One of this western fanatic’s favorite movies is El Dorado (1966). Directed by the wonderful Howard Hawks, the incredibly (downright perfect if we’re being honest) talented cast includes John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ed Asner, Michele Carey, Christopher George, Paul Fix, and briefly Johnny Crawford (best loved as Mark McCain on The Rifleman).
A movie is only as good as it’s stars and the characters they play, which is why El Dorado is movie gold. The colorful, larger than life characters this cast gives us is a gift that keeps on giving. I honestly believe I fall more in love with this movie each time I see it. The same is true of another Howard Hawks and John Wayne western, Rio Bravo.
James Caan and Michele Carey
The two lead stars in this western (John Wayne and Robert Mitchum) are excellent as always. There is something so right about watching a John Wayne Western and it’s made even more magical when the stars around him were/are just as larger than life and colorful as he was. In El Dorado, the Duke is surrounded by such stars!
Robert Mitchum and Arthur Hunnicutt go with John Wayne as beautifully as Dean Martin and Walter Brennan do in Rio Bravo. When they’re on the screen together, you’re pretty sure they were born for the moment.
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Arthur Hunnicutt
When it comes to supporting stars, El Dorado also has an embarrassment of riches: James Caan, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ed Asner, Christopher George, Michele Carey, and Charlene Holt do exactly what a supporting cast should do.
They simply make the film even better.
James Caan could just as easily be considered a lead star in this film (he gives my favorite performance in the film), he is usually treated as a supporting star… you couldn’t ask for any more support than he gives! The same is true of Arthur Hunnicutt, Christopher George, Ed Asner, and Charlene Holt. This movie wouldn’t be as timeless and perfect without this group of talent.
John Wayne, Christopher George, and Ed Asner