Monte Walsh (1970)

GP | 99 mins | Western | 7 October 1970

Director:

William Fraker

Cinematographer:

David M. Walsh

Production Designer:

Albert Brenner

Production Company:

Palladian Pictures
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HISTORY

Screen rights to Jack Warner Schaefer’s 1963 novel, Monte Walsh, were acquired by producer-director Robert Aldrich, who planned to make the film adaptation for Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. through his Associates & Aldrich Co., as announced in the 11 Aug 1965 DV, which also noted that Lukas Heller would write the screenplay. John Wayne was considered to star, according to the 12 Jan 1966 DV. The project lapsed, however, until early 1968, when items in the 24 Jan 1968 DV and LAT stated that CBS Films would produce Monte Walsh for release by National General Pictures Corporation. Lee Marvin was cast in the leading role, for which he was paid “$1,000,000 against 10% of the gross.” Marvin was also given approval over the screenplay and director. On 18 Dec 1968, Var reported that William A. Fraker, who had served as director of photography on Marvin’s last film, Paint Your Wagon (1969, see entry), would make his feature film directorial debut on the picture, which was budgeted at $4 million. Fraker promoted David M. Walsh, who had acted as his camera operator on a number of films including Paint Your Wagon, to be his director of photography.
       The project was briefly re-titled The Die Hard (or The Diehard) before the name was changed back to Monte Walsh, as noted in the 16 Oct 1968 DV.
       Principal photography began on 2 Jun 1969 in Arizona, according to a production chart in the 6 Jun 1969 DV. Filming took place at a ... More Less

Screen rights to Jack Warner Schaefer’s 1963 novel, Monte Walsh, were acquired by producer-director Robert Aldrich, who planned to make the film adaptation for Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. through his Associates & Aldrich Co., as announced in the 11 Aug 1965 DV, which also noted that Lukas Heller would write the screenplay. John Wayne was considered to star, according to the 12 Jan 1966 DV. The project lapsed, however, until early 1968, when items in the 24 Jan 1968 DV and LAT stated that CBS Films would produce Monte Walsh for release by National General Pictures Corporation. Lee Marvin was cast in the leading role, for which he was paid “$1,000,000 against 10% of the gross.” Marvin was also given approval over the screenplay and director. On 18 Dec 1968, Var reported that William A. Fraker, who had served as director of photography on Marvin’s last film, Paint Your Wagon (1969, see entry), would make his feature film directorial debut on the picture, which was budgeted at $4 million. Fraker promoted David M. Walsh, who had acted as his camera operator on a number of films including Paint Your Wagon, to be his director of photography.
       The project was briefly re-titled The Die Hard (or The Diehard) before the name was changed back to Monte Walsh, as noted in the 16 Oct 1968 DV.
       Principal photography began on 2 Jun 1969 in Arizona, according to a production chart in the 6 Jun 1969 DV. Filming took place at a working ranch near Sonoita, AZ, and on a western set near Benson, AZ, constructed at a cost of $250,000. The 7 Aug 1969 LAT stated that both sites were being primed to become tourist attractions.
       On 4 Aug 1969, a DV news brief reported that nine weeks of location filming had just ended in Arizona, a day after the western set had been leveled by a windstorm. A final six weeks of shooting was scheduled to resume that week in Los Angeles, CA. Nearly a year later, the 26 Jun 1970 DV noted that Lee Marvin had recently filmed a new ending, and John Barry was setting music to the new “tag” as well as rescoring a couple other scenes.
       The 14 Sep 1969 LAT cited a final budget of $5 million. Following the completion of principal photography, a 14 Jan 1970 Var brief reported that an Arizona Superior Court judge had awarded Kenneth B. Callaway, a background actor on the film, $45,000 for injuries he had incurred on set when a horse upturned a buggy in which he was seated. Defendants named in the suit included Columbia Broadcasting System and Palladian Pictures.
       Monte Walsh marked the American feature film debut of actress Jeanne Moreau, as noted in the 29 Aug 1969 DV and 28 Sep 1969 LAT. The picture opened on 7 Oct 1970 in New York City and Los Angeles, CA, to mixed reviews. The 7 Oct 1970 Var likened it to the recent westerns, Will Penny (1968, see entry) and The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970, see entry), as the lastest film “to attempt meaningful exposition of the reality of an aging cowboy.”
       J. C. Lord was named as a cast member in the 14 Aug 1969 DV. Although a 27 Aug 1969 DV brief claimed that Johnny Cash would compose and sing the title song for Monte Walsh, the tune was ultimately written by composer John Barry and Hal David, and sung by Mama Cass. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1965
p. 1.
Daily Variety
12 Jan 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
24 Jan 1968
p. 1, 18.
Daily Variety
15 Mar 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Oct 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
1 Nov 1968
p. 26.
Daily Variety
15 May 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Jun 1969
p. 10.
Daily Variety
4 Aug 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
7 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
14 Aug 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
27 Aug 1969
p. 6.
Daily Variety
29 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Jun 1970
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
13 Aug 1965
Section C, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
24 Jan 1968
Section D, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jun 1969
Section D, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
6 Aug 1969
Section D, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
7 Aug 1969
Section C, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
14 Sep 1969
Section O, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
28 Sep 1969
Section Q, p. 15.
Los Angeles Times
22 Feb 1970
Section R, p. 18.
Los Angeles Times
5 Oct 1970
Section G, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
7 Oct 1970
Section E, p. 1, 19.
New York Times
8 Oct 1970
p. 61.
Variety
18 Aug 1965
p. 15.
Variety
31 Jan 1968
p. 3.
Variety
18 Dec 1968
p. 7.
Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 7.
Variety
7 Oct 1970
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Hal Landers-Bobby Roberts Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Supv mus ed
Boom op
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Screenplay supv
Dial dir
Gaffer
Key grip
Constr
Casting
Animal trainer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Monte Walsh by Jack Warner Schaefer (Boston, 1963).
SONGS
"The Good Times Are Comin'," music and lyrics by John Barry and Hal David, sung by Mama Cass.
PERFORMER
COMPOSERS
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Die Hard
The Diehard
Release Date:
7 October 1970
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 October 1970
Production Date:
2 June--late September 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Palladian Pictures
Copyright Date:
28 September 1970
Copyright Number:
LP39819
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22578
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late 1880s, Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins, two aging cowboys, ride into the town of Harmony, and manager Cal Brennan offers them a job at the Slash Y Ranch. There they meet an old friend, Shorty Austin, and the three ride into town, where Monte visits Martine Bernard, his mistress, at the local saloon, while Chet courts Mary Eagle, a widow who has inherited a hardware store. Soon after Shorty loses his job at the ranch, he becomes involved in a saloon brawl and kills a man who turns out to be a marshal. Chet, who marries Mary Eagle and settles down to work in the store, tells Monte that the day of the cowboy is gone and that he, too, should settle down. Martine, however, has moved to Charleyville to work in a more prosperous saloon. Monte follows her and proposes marriage. As he leaves Charleyville, the drunken Monte comes upon a wild horse that is part of a Wild West show and decides to tame the stallion. The owner of the show offers Monte a job, but Monte is too proud to become a carnival attraction and turns him down. He mounts the horse and destroys a large part of the town during the wild ride. Upon returning to Harmony, Monte is informed that Chet was killed by Shorty during a robbery of the hardware store. Monte sets out in pursuit of Shorty but learns that Martine is very ill. He rides to Charleyville to find Martine dead and Shorty waiting for him. The two men stalk each other throughout the town until Monte finally kills ... +


In the late 1880s, Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins, two aging cowboys, ride into the town of Harmony, and manager Cal Brennan offers them a job at the Slash Y Ranch. There they meet an old friend, Shorty Austin, and the three ride into town, where Monte visits Martine Bernard, his mistress, at the local saloon, while Chet courts Mary Eagle, a widow who has inherited a hardware store. Soon after Shorty loses his job at the ranch, he becomes involved in a saloon brawl and kills a man who turns out to be a marshal. Chet, who marries Mary Eagle and settles down to work in the store, tells Monte that the day of the cowboy is gone and that he, too, should settle down. Martine, however, has moved to Charleyville to work in a more prosperous saloon. Monte follows her and proposes marriage. As he leaves Charleyville, the drunken Monte comes upon a wild horse that is part of a Wild West show and decides to tame the stallion. The owner of the show offers Monte a job, but Monte is too proud to become a carnival attraction and turns him down. He mounts the horse and destroys a large part of the town during the wild ride. Upon returning to Harmony, Monte is informed that Chet was killed by Shorty during a robbery of the hardware store. Monte sets out in pursuit of Shorty but learns that Martine is very ill. He rides to Charleyville to find Martine dead and Shorty waiting for him. The two men stalk each other throughout the town until Monte finally kills Shorty. +

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

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