The Rounders (1965)

85 mins | Comedy, Western | 10 March 1965

Director:

Burt Kennedy

Writer:

Burt Kennedy

Producer:

Richard E. Lyons

Cinematographer:

Paul C. Vogel

Production Designers:

George W. Davis, Urie McCleary

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
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HISTORY

The 27 Jan 1964 DV announced The Rounders, based on the 1960 Max Evans novel, as the next picture slated for actors Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda set to star. The 28 Jan 1964 DV noted that the film would be a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (M-G-M) production.
       On 6 Feb 1964, DV reported that filmmakers, including director Burt Kennedy and producer Richard E. Lyons, were currently scouting locations in three states, beginning in Santa Fe, NM, and continuing on to Arizona and California. Filming was set to begin in May 1964. The 6 Apr 1964 and 10 Apr 1964 issues of DV noted a 4 May 1964 start date, with filming to begin in Arizona.
       According to the 6 May 1964 DV, production got underway in Sedona, AZ, where 250 locals were hired as background actors. Included in the recruits were rodeo performers, prep school students, and the Arizona State College Band.
       During filming on 8 May 1964, director Burt Kennedy suffered two broken toes when he was kicked in the foot by the horse playing “Ol’ Fooler,” as stated in the 15 May 1964 LAT, which also noted that the film was the first to use Sedona to stand in for itself onscreen.
       Peter Ford and Peter Fonda, the actor sons of co-stars Ford and Fonda, reportedly visited their fathers on set and were in talks to make cameo appearances in The Rounders, as indicated in the 8 May 1964 DV. On 21 May 1964, DV announced that the proposed scene would be a barroom brawl where they would ... More Less

The 27 Jan 1964 DV announced The Rounders, based on the 1960 Max Evans novel, as the next picture slated for actors Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda set to star. The 28 Jan 1964 DV noted that the film would be a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. (M-G-M) production.
       On 6 Feb 1964, DV reported that filmmakers, including director Burt Kennedy and producer Richard E. Lyons, were currently scouting locations in three states, beginning in Santa Fe, NM, and continuing on to Arizona and California. Filming was set to begin in May 1964. The 6 Apr 1964 and 10 Apr 1964 issues of DV noted a 4 May 1964 start date, with filming to begin in Arizona.
       According to the 6 May 1964 DV, production got underway in Sedona, AZ, where 250 locals were hired as background actors. Included in the recruits were rodeo performers, prep school students, and the Arizona State College Band.
       During filming on 8 May 1964, director Burt Kennedy suffered two broken toes when he was kicked in the foot by the horse playing “Ol’ Fooler,” as stated in the 15 May 1964 LAT, which also noted that the film was the first to use Sedona to stand in for itself onscreen.
       Peter Ford and Peter Fonda, the actor sons of co-stars Ford and Fonda, reportedly visited their fathers on set and were in talks to make cameo appearances in The Rounders, as indicated in the 8 May 1964 DV. On 21 May 1964, DV announced that the proposed scene would be a barroom brawl where they would fight their respective fathers. Although the 24 Jun 1964 DV reported that the cameo appearances were never filmed, the young men did actually appear onscreen as spectators during a street sequence in which their fathers were covering their backsides with cowboy hats.
       The town of Sedona put on its first ever “Western Days” event for the cameras, but also in hopes to start an annual tradition, according to the 21 May 1964 DV. The celebration was set for 22-23 May 1964 and would include a parade and a rodeo.
       The 25 May 1964 DV stated that the company had relocated to Flagstaff, AZ, that day for additional exteriors. The 13 Jan 1965 Var review noted that several sequences had been filmed in the Coconino National Forest, located between Sedona and Flagstaff.
       Principal photography was completed on 11 Jun 1964, as announced in that day’s DV. Filmmakers reportedly spent thirty days of location filming in AZ, before returning to M-G-M Studios on 1 Jun 1964 for interiors.
       The 10 Aug 1964 DV indicated that several watercolor paintings made by Henry Ford had been photographed, with plans that they would appear as “key art” in The Rounders.
       On 13 Nov 1964, DV indicated that plans were already in place for Ford and Fonda to appear in the sequel to Rounders, based on the recently released follow-up novel, The Great Wedding, by Max Evans, which M-G-M would again produce. However, that film never came to be.
       Promotional campaigns for The Rounders included a tie-in with the Rodeo Cowboys Association, which would involve personal rodeo appearances made by the stars of the film, as announced in the 25 Nov 1964 Var.
       According to the 9 Dec 1964 Var, which reported a Mar 1965 release date, filmmakers censored a scene that showed the bare bottoms of Sue Ane Langdon and Hope Holiday, in accordance with the objections of the Catholic Legion of Decency.
       The 5 Mar 1965 LAT stated that the film would open in Los Angeles, CA, theaters on 10 Mar 1965. The Rounders was released in New York City theaters on 28 Apr 1965, as indicated in the 29 Apr 1965 NYT review. The picture played on a double-bill with Get Yourself a College Girl (1964, see entry).
       Max Evans’s story was the inspiration for the television series, also titled The Rounders (ABC, 2 Sep 1966—3 Jan 1967). Actor Chill Wills portrayed the character of “Jim Ed Love” in both the film and television series. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Jan 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
26 Feb 1964
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
6 Apr 1964
p. 14.
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1964
p. 2, 6.
Daily Variety
6 May 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
8 May 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
13 May 1964
p. 11.
Daily Variety
21 May 1964
p. 2, 15.
Daily Variety
25 May 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
11 Jun 1964
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1964
p. 15.
Daily Variety
23 Sep 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
25 Sep 1964
p. 7.
Daily Variety
13 Nov 1964
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
15 May 1964
Section C, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
5 Mar 1965
Section C, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times
13 Mar 1965
p. 16.
New York Times
29 Apr 1965
p. 40.
Variety
25 Nov 1964
p. 23.
Variety
9 Dec 1964
p. 18.
Variety
13 Jan 1965
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Rounders by Max Evans (New York, 1960).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
10 March 1965
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 10 March 1965
New York opening: 28 April 1965
Production Date:
4 May--11 June 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29467
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
85
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Ben Jones and Howdy Lewis, two itinerant horse wranglers tired of spending their winters rounding up stray horses in the New Mexico hills, make a pledge to give up the carousing that keeps them forever in debt to their stingy employer, rancher Jim Ed Love. They also attempt to solve another of their problems by getting rid of Ol' Fooler, a wild roan that stubbornly refuses to be broken. They let moonshiner Vince Moore have him in exchange for some corn liquor, but the horse also likes whisky, and he is returned. With time, however, the two men develop a grudging admiration for the animal and accept him as partial payment for their winter's work, planning to enter him as a bucking bronco in a rodeo. Before the event Ben and Howdy join two Las Vegas strippers for a midnight swim in the state fish hatchery but are forced to flee from a pursuing game warden. At the rodeo, Ol' Fooler lives up to expectations but sustains what the vet calls a fatal injury. Ben agrees to have the horse shot; but as soon as Ol' Fooler sees the gun, he bolts up and wildly lashes out at the two cowboys. Ben and Howdy pay the vet for his demolished barn and set out with Ol' Fooler to seek another job from Jim Ed ... +


Ben Jones and Howdy Lewis, two itinerant horse wranglers tired of spending their winters rounding up stray horses in the New Mexico hills, make a pledge to give up the carousing that keeps them forever in debt to their stingy employer, rancher Jim Ed Love. They also attempt to solve another of their problems by getting rid of Ol' Fooler, a wild roan that stubbornly refuses to be broken. They let moonshiner Vince Moore have him in exchange for some corn liquor, but the horse also likes whisky, and he is returned. With time, however, the two men develop a grudging admiration for the animal and accept him as partial payment for their winter's work, planning to enter him as a bucking bronco in a rodeo. Before the event Ben and Howdy join two Las Vegas strippers for a midnight swim in the state fish hatchery but are forced to flee from a pursuing game warden. At the rodeo, Ol' Fooler lives up to expectations but sustains what the vet calls a fatal injury. Ben agrees to have the horse shot; but as soon as Ol' Fooler sees the gun, he bolts up and wildly lashes out at the two cowboys. Ben and Howdy pay the vet for his demolished barn and set out with Ol' Fooler to seek another job from Jim Ed Love. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.