1965 Certificate: pg


Led by big brother John Wayne, the four sons of ranch owner Katie Elder set out to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their dear old Ma. Dean Martin shows his acting chops and George Kennedy is on typically villainous form but look out for a young Dennis Hopper in a rousing revenge drama that was (dodgily) updated for the 21st century as Four Brothers. Trivia: John Wayne had to breathe using an oxygen tank because the film was shot so high in California's Sierra Nevada.


  • Henry Hathaway


  • Michael Anderson Jr

  • Dean Martin

  • Earl Holliman

  • John Wayne


Films about brothers or heroes banded together in a common cause have always been among the cinema's most successful and usually work very well - especially if some of the heroes get killed, putting subtle pressure on our emotions.

Nowhere does this apply more than in the Western, and this John Wayne film is well in that tradition, with its story about about four brothers out to avenge their father's death.

Background music by Elmer Bernstein that's much in the mould of The Magnificent Seven and the cultured direction of Henry Hathaway (later to make Wayne's Oscar-winning True Grit) both help to shunt the story along in cracking style.

The action is dashingly violent, with gunman George Kennedy falling victim to one of the most devastating blows ever struck on the cinema screen.