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Mission Impossible in the Old West.
on October 3, 2002
Gunfighter Taw Jackson (John Wayne) recruits a motley crew of sidekicks to rob ruthless mine owner, Frank Pierce (Bruce Cabot). Pierce routinely transports a fortune in gold dust in an armored stagecoach called "The War Wagon." Complete with a small army of guards and a Gatling gun, The War Wagon is formidable. Taw figures to settle old scores by devising a complex plan to steal the gold. John Wayne was good at big budget B pictures. This flick is very different from a John Ford masterpiece, but so what? This movie is a typical Batjac action-adventure flick with comic overtones. Wayne trades verbal barbs with Lomax (Kirk Douglas), a too-cool hired gun. Howard Keel is Levi Walking Bear, a comic and politically incorrect Indian. Robert Walker is a drunken explosives expert. Keenan Wynn is a sadistic teamster. They each play a role in the carefully timed execution of the robbery. Unaware of their thieving alliance, Pierce hires Lomax to kill Taw, setting up several tense situations. The supporting cast includes members of Wayne's Batjac production company family. Look for Bruce Dern, Gene Evans, and Sheb Wooley in small roles. Throw in colorful outdoor locations, a saloon brawl, lots of hard-riding action, and it's great fun for Western movie fans. It's well worth the price. ;-)