"Not a typical western, kind of a tear-jerker too."
Can a Western be a tear-jerking “girlie” movie as well as a “manly” movie? Yes. And “Sons of Katie Elder” is such a film.For me, “Sons of Katie Elder” was a very emotional movie. I think the emotional aspect came from the presence and major influence of Katie Elder. She was a major character in the movie even though the character died before the movie started.
Katie’s presence was represented by the rocking chair, especially when it was in motion. At first one might think that the movement of the rocking chair when it was bumped was accidental. But when it happened several times, and especially at the end of the movie, I knew it was deliberate.
The movie combined the aspects of a “girlie” movie (the tear-jerker aspects of the mother still exerting influence over her sons) and a typical John Wayne western (the gunfights and violence, etc.)
The film had the usual elements of a John Wayne film that people love about his films. That is, the qualities of the characters John Wayne plays. (Strong moral values, but more right-wing than left.) In this film, however, in spite of his moral character, he was flawed. That is, he had not paid the attention to his mother that he should have.
The technology (telescopic sights) used by the bad guys made the usual gunfights, etc. more interesting that a typical western. However, the bad guys, except for the leader and Dennis Hooper’s character seemed a bit flat and not fully developed. The leader was an interesting character. He was a realistic character in that he had believable motivation for his actions. Also, watch for the delightful performance by a very young Dennis Hooper. I really enjoyed his character.
As far as the good guy are concerned, Dean Martin played what seemed to me his usual character type. The other brothers could have been more well rounded, especially the younger one who was supposed to go to college.
I felt the movie should have had less gunplay and violence and more detail about the influence of the deceased mother.
The sound and picture quality on the DVD were above average. Certainly not a disappointed and good enough to make the movie enjoyable.An excellent movie, and well worth seeing for John Wayne fans, as well as those who enjoy a good emotional movie about a mother’s love and influence.