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Review: John Wayne's "McLintock!" comes to Blu-Ray

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'McLintock!'

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The classic 1963 western comedy “McLintock!” starring John Wayne arrives on Blu-Ray today in a stunning 4K restoration. Technicolor on Blu-Ray always looks superb, and “McLintock!” is no exception.

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Loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” “McLintock!” tells the story of a cattle baron (Wayne) living on a ranch, balancing the cattle trade and brawls with rivals when his estranged wife, played by one of John Wayne’s favorite co-stars Maureen O’Hara, returns to the ranch. Soon, Mr. and Mrs. McLintock are bickering their way back into each other’s hearts.

The film was made during Wayne’s later career as an elder statesman of cinema and producer. “McLintock!” is a family affair, with Wayne’s children in front of and behind the camera. Wayne’s eldest son Michael directs the film, and Patrick and Aissa Wayne both have parts in front of the camera.

“McLintock!” is a broad farce. Even when one of Wayne’s friends is about to be hung, the tone remains light,culminating in a slapstick fight in a mud pit which may be the film’s highlight. During the opening video introduction, Leonard Maltin charitably describes the screenplay as “short on subtlety,” and many of those elements haven’t aged well. O’Hara and Stefanie Powers (who plays McLintock’s daughter) are both portrayed as shrill, oblivious harpies. Some of the humor is somewhat cringeworthy with 50 years of hindsight, particularly the scene where McLintock’s daughter is “hilariously” spanked with a shovel, a gag so gut-busting that it’s repeated later in the film.

Your enjoyment of “McLintock” will boil down to how much you enjoy later John Wayne films and broad comedy, but the film’s high-definition transfer is excellent. View stills and photos from “McLintock!” through the years in the slideshow above. For the latest Blu-Ray news and reviews, subscribe to the Blu-Ray Examiner today

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