In the comedic western “McLintock,” John Wayne (“Rooster Cogburn”) and Maureen O’Hara (“The Parent Trap”) are a duo of perfection.
George Washington “GW” McLintock is the richest man in the town of McLintock due to his vast ownership of land and cattle. Awaiting the return from college of his beloved daughter, Becky (Stefanie Powers, “Jump!”), GW is abruptly reunited with his estranged and fiery-tempered wife, Katherine, who suddenly left years before with no explanation or goodbye. Upon her dramatic arrival, Katherine announces that she has returned to take her daughter “back to the State Capital” in order to reside with more civilized individuals than the likes of cattle rustlers and Indians (but most pointedly GW). Caught in the midst of a family feud, Indian reservation relocation and the invasion of land-hungry homesteaders, GW is forced to keep the peace in a troubled and changing society.
Written by James Edward Grant (“Angel and the Bad Man”) and directed by Andrew V. McLaglen (“Eye of the Widow”), this film appeals to an immense crowd with its classic cowboy charm and “Taming of the Shrew”-style overtones. Filled with fantastically filmed and choreographed fight scenes, intense life and death dilemmas, and moving emotional moments, “McLintock” is a well-rounded — yet capricious — feature. The film does an excellent job of showing the complexities of real life, as GW balances the trials of political and familial obligations while dealing with the troubles of his own heart and the responsibilities of a respected tough-love cowboy.
This film is an absolute classic for audiences and a giant gold star on the actors’ résumés; Wayne and O’Hara give a priceless performance as a volatile husband and wife. Throughout the film, the couple vehemently hash out the past and tug-o’-war for their individual desired futures — and just as all hope seems to be lost, love wins out (of course).
After all, who could resist John Wayne and that classic slam-kiss?