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Mackenna’s Gold (Columbia 1969, Omar Sharif, Gregory Peck)



Mackenna’s Gold was one of the last of the traditional Westerns, with Gregory Peck as Sheriff Mackenna, the only person who knows the location of a legendary canyon of gold coveted by a Mexican bandit (Omar Sharif), countless prospectors, and Apaches. The Apaches want the gold to fight the white men, despite a decree from their elders, while Sharif is only looking for an easy ticket to Paris.

Well-populated with wonderful actors in small roles (Lee J. Cobb, Edward G. Robinson, Raymond Massey, Burgess Meredith, and Julie Newmar as an Apache maiden), the movie failed to impress the critics Vincent Canby called it ‘a western of truly stunning absurdity, a thriving example of the old Hollywood maxim about how to succeed by failing big.’ and Judith Christ thought that ‘Twelve-year-olds of all ages might tolerate it.’

The musical score for was a result of an unusual collaboration between composers Quincy Jones and Dimitri Tiomkin. Tiomkin also served as producer on the film.

production details
USA | Columbia | 128 minutes | 1969
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Script: Carl Foreman, Heck Allen,

Eli Wallach as Ben Baker
Omar Sharif as Colorado
Keenan Wynn as Sanchez
Edward G. Robinson as Old Adams
Duke Hobbie as Lieutenant
Camilla Sparv as Inga Bergmann
Anthony Quayle as Older Englishman
Ted Cassidy as Hachita
Lee J. Cobb as The Editor
Victor Jory as The Narrator
Gregory Peck as Marshal MacKenna
Julie Newmar as Hesh-Ke
Telly Savalas as Sergeant Tibbs
Raymond Massey as The Preacher
Burgess Meredith as The Storekeeper
Eduardo Ciannelli as Prairie Dog
Dick Peabody as Avila
Rudy Diaz as Besh
Robert Phillips as Monkey
Shelley Morrison as The Pima Squaw
Robert Porter as Young Englishman
David Garfield as Adams’ Boy
Pepe Callahan as Laguna
Madeleine Taylor Holmes as Old Apache Woman