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The Wonderful Country (film)

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Director  Robert Parrish
Music director  Alex North
Country  United States of America(production)Mexico(filming)
6.2/10 IMDb

Genre  Romance, Western
Producer  Chester Erskine
Language  English
The Wonderful Country (film) movie poster
Writer  Robert Ardrey, Walter Bernstein, Tom Lea
Release date  1959
Cast  Robert Mitchum (Martin Brady), Julie London (Helen Colton), Gary Merrill (Major Colton), Albert Dekker (Cap. Rucker (Texas Ranger)), Jack Oakie (Travis Hyle), Charles McGraw (Dr. Stovall)
Similar movies  Taken 3, John Wick, The Hunting Party, Hannie Caulder, Looper, The Purge: Anarchy

The Wonderful Country is a 1959 Technicolor Western film based on Tom Lea's novel of the same name that was produced by Robert Mitchum's DRM Production company in Mexico. Mitchum stars along with Julie London.


The Wonderful Country (film) movie scenes

Baseball pitcher Satchel Paige plays a soldier in the film, and Lea has a cameo as a barber.

The Wonderful Country (film) movie scenes

The wonderful country dvd available now



In Mexico, expatriate American pistolero Martin Brady is employed by the Castro brothers, Marcos (Victor Manuel Mendoza), a general, and Don Cipriano (Pedro Armendáriz), the new governor. On a business trip to the United States to arrange the purchase of a wagonload of rifles and ammunition, he is delayed when he breaks his leg in an accident in the Texas border town of Puerto. Treated by Dr Stovall (Charles McGraw), he stays with German immigrant Ben Sterner (John Banner), who is the seller of the rifles, and Ben's nephew Ludwig (Max Slaten).

The Wonderful Country film Alchetron the free social encyclopedia

Brady's help is sought by the local U.S. Army commander, Major Colton (Gary Merrill), to persuade Cipriano Castro to cooperate with Colton's Buffalo Soldiers in an expedition against hostile Apaches in Mexico. In the meantime the rifles he purchased for Castro have been stolen. Captain Rucker of the Texas Rangers knows that Brady fled to Mexico as an adolescent after avenging the murder of his father not knowing the man he killed was an outlaw, and tries to enlist him as a Ranger. Brady is attracted to Colton's unhappy wife Ellen (Julie London), but after shooting a man (Chuck Roberson) who murdered Ludwig and then drew on Brady, he returns to Mexico to inform Cipriano Castro of the missing rifles.

The Wonderful Country 1959

Major Colton and Ellen arrive to meet with Cipriano, arranged by Travis Hight (Jack Oakie), the representative of a railroad threatened by the Apaches. Ellen and Brady have a brief affair. Cipriano tells Brady that by law he must pay a debt for the rifles and orders him to assassinate his brother Marcos, who seeks to make himself governor instead. Brady refuses and finds himself an outlaw in Mexico as well. Weeks later on the run, he finds cavalry sergeant Tobe Sutton (Satchel Paige) and returns with him to Major Colton's camp.

The Wonderful Country 1959

Colton has been seriously wounded in a skirmish with the Apaches but is determined to rendezvous with Captain Rucker and General Castro's troops. En route they recover the stolen rifles from a small band of Apaches, but Colton dies. The rifles are returned to General Marcos, who reveals that Cipriano is also dead and he is now governor. Calling Brady an assassin, he demands the Americans surrender him and leave Mexico immediately. However Rucker offers to help Brady prove that the shooting in Puerto was a case of self-defense if he returns to Texas. Brady decides to risk it and heads across the river to the U.S. to be with Ellen.


The Wonderful Country film Alchetron the free social encyclopedia
  • Robert Mitchum as Martin Brady
  • Julie London as Helen Colton
  • Gary Merrill as Maj. Stark Colton
  • Albert Dekker as Texas Ranger Capt. Rucker
  • Charles McGraw as Dr. Herbert J. Stovall
  • Satchel Paige as Sgt. Tobe Sutton
  • Production

    The Wonderful Country 1959

    Robert Parrish went to Tom Lea and asked if he [Parrish] could direct it. The only money that Lea received from the picture was for his role as the barber.

    The Wonderful Country Bluray Review High Def Digest

    The motion picture was filmed in the state of Durango. Parrish and Lea first asked Henry Fonda, then Gregory Peck to take the starring role. But, Mitchum really wanted to do the film, and after Fonda and Peck said no, Mitchum took over production.

    The Wonderful Country Bluray

    During filming in Durango, Mitchum and his stunt double Chuck Roberson decided to have a few drinks at a local cantina. They witnessed two Mexicans get into a violent confrontation in which one drew a pistol and fired a shot into the other's face. After running outside momentarily, the wounded man came back into the bar and dropped dead. The incident shook up Mitchum so badly it convinced him to keep his drinking to the hotel and its vicinity.


    The film was not well received at the box office and by some critics, but other critics considered it beautifully filmed, by cinematographers Floyd Crosby and Alex Phillips.

    A rave review in the New York Times appeared on Nov. 5, 1959, critic Howard Thompson referring to Mitchum as "ideally cast" and writing: "This is a superior, intelligent film on nearly every count ... beautifully paced by Robert Parrish's direction and magnificently evocative of the locale where it was made, this Chester Erskine production is consistently rewarding."

    Upon its release, TIME said about it: "But the result is just a crying Shane. All that is truly dramatic is the wonderful country itself" and about Mitchum's performance: "...he sounds like an Aztec exchange student after six terms at C.C.N.Y.". "The rest of the plot is as snarled as a ball of tumbleweed." and; "...a western that is more woolly than wild".

    Upon its 1961 release in Cuba, it set off an ideological fury due to "two Mexican bandits who were named the Castro brothers".

    As Roger Fristoe notes, recent critics regard the film more highly than critics writing more than fifty years ago. Dennis Schwartz wrote in 2009 that the film is "A wonderfully rich western that ambitiously covers many familiar themes and does a good job in developing the main character and his knotty personality."


    The Wonderful Country (film) Wikipedia
    The Wonderful Country (film) IMDb The Wonderful Country (film)