A wealthy rancher uses his influence to keep the peace in the town
named after him, but nothing can prepare him for the fury of his ex-wife.
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Written by James Edward Grant
Starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne,
Stefanie Powers, Jack Kruschen, Chill Wills, Yvonne De Carlo,
Jerry Van Dyke, Bruce Cabot, Michael Pate
McLintock! does stand out among John Wayne's hefty filmography, but it's basically a carbon copy of The Quiet Man but without all the likability that endeared you to the characters. While Wayne plays a wealthy but somewhat jolly rancher, Maureen O'Hara's character of Katherine is a stone cold bitch that's impossible to root for. She weighs the entire movie down, as everything she says and the way she treats people is so rude and cruel, yet we as the audience are supposed to be on her side because she's our secondary protagonist. If she'd been written better, this film would have a much higher score.
There are several moments in this film that had me cracking up, particularly the scene where the town has a big fight near the mud puddle. But overall, just like with True Grit, it doesn't stand out. It's a John Wayne western, and they really are a dime a dozen. Plus, there are so many supporting plot threads that never get resolved or are resolved too quickly or offscreen, like Becky and Dev's courtship or Puma's last stand with the Comanche. I would've liked to have seen these events unfold, but instead, we got more back-and-forth with G.W. McLintock (Wayne) and his insufferable wife (O'Hara).
McLintock! isn't a bad film, but it's not particularly memorable and it's overly long for its simple premise. I enjoyed this story far more when it was in Ireland and had more charming characters. Maybe I'm just not watching the right Wayne westerns. I thought this guy was supposed to be a legend.