Two cinematic legends, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, team up to seize a small fortune in gold in this action-packed western classic. Wayne plays Taw Jackson, a range-hardened rancher who's hell-bent on capturing the infamous War Wagon, an ironclad stagecoach protected by a small army of men and owned by a thieving cattle baron who robbed Taw of his gold and good name years before. To get even, Jackson recruits Lomax (Douglas), a brash gunslinger, and a raucous crew of misfits and readies them to pull off one of the most impossible heists of all time.
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John Wayne and Kirk Douglas make a delightful duo in this comedic Western in which Wayne seeks revenge on a ruthless mine owner (Bruce Cabot) who had him framed and sent to prison. Upon his release, Wayne recruits Douglas in a scheme to raid and rob one of Cabot's gold-laden wagons, despite the fact that Douglas had been offered good money to kill Wayne. He joins Wayne instead (the potential profits being much greater), and they set out to ambush the War Wagon, so named because it's heavily armored, mounted with a Gatling gun, and guarded by a dozen gunmen on horses. Costarring Keenan Wynn and Howard Keel as a wise-cracking Indian, The War Wagon was a Western precursor to the action buddy films of the 1980s and '90s, serving up plenty of exciting action and constant comic relief. The interplay between Wayne and Douglas is sharp and sarcastic, and their motley crew of accomplices provides yet another source of character-driven humor. Not one of the greatest Westerns ever made, but certainly one of the most lightly entertaining. --Jeff Shannon
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