The War Wagon

  • 1967
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Western

An energetic and humorous western with Wayne and Douglas as friendly rivals who put aside their differences and decide to work together on a heist. Wayne is released from prison after being framed by the malevolent Cabot, a greedy mine owner. Determined to get revenge, Wayne plans to knock off a $500,000 Cabot gold shipment. He persuades Douglas to team...read more

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An energetic and humorous western with Wayne and Douglas as friendly rivals who put aside their differences and decide to work together on a heist. Wayne is released from prison after being framed by the malevolent Cabot, a greedy mine owner. Determined to get revenge, Wayne plans to

knock off a $500,000 Cabot gold shipment. He persuades Douglas to team up with him, but Douglas has already received an offer of $10,000 (later upped to $12,000) from Cabot to kill Wayne. Douglas' share of the heist would be $100,000, however, so he decides to go where the money is, continually

reminding Wayne of his other offer. Their relationship is sealed when two of Cabot's henchmen see that Douglas is in cahoots with Wayne. The villains bravely pull their guns on Douglas and Wayne only to take bullets and hit the ground. Douglas smartly remarks to Wayne,"Mine hit the ground first."

Wayne retorts calmly, "Mine was taller." They find three additional men to help in their scheme: Keel, a wisecracking Indian; Walker, an alcoholic explosives expert; and Wynn, a crotchety old employee of Cabot who wants to hurt his employer. Things are made difficult when Cabot reveals the "war

wagon," an iron-plated stagecoach armed with a Gatling gun and guarded by dozens of gunmen on horseback. Wayne and his men carry out their intricate plan with the assistance of the Indian nations that are angry at Cabot for attempting to relocate their reservations. The Indians descend on the war

wagon, causing the men on horseback to chase after them and thus leave the coach unguarded. Meantime, traps have been set and nitroglycerin prepared to blow up a bridge as the war wagon passes. The coach crosses the bridge as planned, the bridge explodes, and the guards are left behind, unable to

cross the ravine. The war wagon rolls on with a handful of guards firing from inside. Cabot, trying to save his fortune, stands at the Gatling gun frantically firing rounds. Eventually the war wagon is sent crashing to the ground, and Wayne retrieves the sacks of gold dust. Wynn hides them in

barrels of flour aboard his wagon, stashing a couple of sacks of gold away for himself. The Indians turn on Wayne and his men but soon fall victim to one last bottle of nitro. Wynn's wagon is pulled out of control by a frightened horse as Wynn gets shot. The horse takes off through Indian

territory as barrels of flour and gold break open at the feet of the grateful Indians. The riches that Cabot had mined from the Indian territory are now returned to their origins, and Wayne and his men are left with only one-fifth of their predicted fortune. The picture is at its best when Wayne

and Douglas play off each other, using their rapport and humor to the fullest. Director Kennedy filled this endeavor with the utmost action, especially in a charged barroom brawl scene that features Douglas nonchalantly swinging from a chandelier. A thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 101

minutes.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: An energetic and humorous western with Wayne and Douglas as friendly rivals who put aside their differences and decide to work together on a heist. Wayne is released from prison after being framed by the malevolent Cabot, a greedy mine owner. Determined to… (more)

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