El Dorado


The evening kicks off at 6:30pm with an outdoor reception on The Loft patio. At 7:00pm, enter the theatre and enjoy a conversation with Cindy Mitchum, the daughter of Robert’s brother John, who followed his movie star brother to Hollywood and became a character actor in scores of movies and hundreds of television shows, including El Dorado. The two Mitchum brothers were the subject of an insightful 1989 memoir written by Cindy’s father titled, Them Ornery Mitchum Boys. Cindy will no doubt have her own tales to tell in a conversation with the audience prior to the showing of the film.

Directed by the great Howard Hawks, El Dorado is an action-packed 1966 Western starring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan. Primarily filmed at Old Tucson Studios, with some country scenes shot around this valley where it’s hard NOT to land on something once part of the Empire Ranch, El Dorado features Wayne as a gunfighter who rides into town to connect with his old pal, drunken sheriff Robert Mitchum (“It’s the big one with the big two!” declared the film’s advertistments). The mismatched pair (joined by a reckless young punk played by James Cann) soon join forces to battle an evil land baron (played by Ed Asner), and after a series of plot twists, power shifts and hard luck misadventures, the tough trio are thrown into a slam-bang climax in which they are forced to stave off Asner’s minions despite overwhelming odds. One of the film’s final shots, of Wayne and Mitchum limping off together arm-in-arm, is one of the most enduring images in the entire Howard Hawks canon. After El Dorado became a huge box-office hit, Wayne and Hawks climbed back into the saddle and continued their successful onscreen partnership with the 1969 film Rio Lobo.