Review: ‘The War Wagon’

The War Wagon is an entertaining, exciting western drama of revenge, laced with action and humor. Strong scripting, performances and direction are evident, enhanced by terrif exterior production values. Kirk Douglas also stars in an excellent performance.

The War Wagon is an entertaining, exciting western drama of revenge, laced with action and humor. Strong scripting, performances and direction are evident, enhanced by terrif exterior production values. Kirk Douglas also stars in an excellent performance.

Clair Huffaker’s novel, Badman, has been adapted by the author into a very fine screenplay which is a neat blend of always-advancing plot, the right amount of good-natured grousing, and two-fisted action, all building to a strong climax. Burt Kennedy directs with an eye for panorama, as well as intimate, personal interaction.

John Wayne, framed into prison by Bruce Cabot who then seized his land to make a fortune in gold, returns for revenge. He teams with Kirk Douglas, a hired gun used earlier by Cabot. Together they plan a heist of Cabot’s armored gold wagon.

The War Wagon

Production

Universal. Director Burt Kennedy; Producer Marvin Schwartz; Screenplay Clair Huffaker; Camera William H. Clothier; Editor Harry Gerstad; Music Dimitri Tiomkin; Art Director Alfred Sweeney

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

John Wayne Kirk Douglas Howard Keel Robert Walker Keenan Wynn Bruce Cabot
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