The Sons of Katie Elder

Synopsis: The Elder boys return to Clearwater, Texas for their Mother's funeral. John the eldest is a well known gunfighter and trouble follows him wherever he goes. The boys try to get back their ranch from the towns gunsmith who won it from their father in a card game with which he was shortly murdered there after but not before getting through the troubles that come with the Elders name.
Genre: Western
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: Paramount Pictures
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
122 min

l bet you ten bucks the steps of

that train don't stop no more than...

- foot from that line.

- Show a little respect.

- Five bucks!

- Cut it out. We're here for a funeral.

- Which way is town?

- Just follow the road. You can't miss it.

You... you know him?

No, but l know that type.

And l don't like it.

What do you suppose

he's doing here?

We'll find out soon enough.

Excuse me.

- lsn't there anybody else getting off?

- No, sir.

l guess he ain't coming.

May as well go on with the funeral.

Oh, that's a good way of putting it.

You could've won yourselves

five bucks apiece.

Did anybody else get off that train

besides yourself?


- You know a man name of John Elder?

- l know of him.

Would you be afraid of him?

No. But you must be.

That's why people hire me. They're

worried about somebody, or scared.

Don't go jumping to any conclusions.

l didn't know that John Elder

was even in these parts.

He probably isn't.

Maybe all you'll have to do to earn

your money is hang around for a while

and then go back on another train.

Look, l don't care what l have to do,

as long as l get paid.

You'll get paid.

Stow your gear in the house.

What are you hiring a gunman for, Pa?

You're too young

to remember John Elder.

- What've the Elders got to do with us?

- Not the Elders, just John.

What does he have to do with us?

When he left here,

this ranch belonged to his family.

- This is our land. We own it, don't we?

- Of course it is, son.

Sure it is. lt's just that he might

want to figure it differently.

And we need this land.

We're gonna keep it.

That's a peculiar way

to dress for a funeral.

Could turn out more than a funeral.

l don't get your point,

as John Elder didn't get off the train.

That doesn't mean he won't show up.

Even so, a man isn't likely to shoot up

his own mother's funeral.

- Not without good reason.

- He might think he's got a good reason.

Besides, there's that other one

that got off the train.

Ben, John Elder isn't wanted for

anything around here. Remember that.

He's a gunfighter. That puts him

on one side and me on the other.

And it was you

who told me that in the first place.

Almighty God, we commend the soul

of our dear and pretty sister departed,

Katie Elder, into your care,

as we commit her body to the ground

beside her loved husband.

Katie Elder, a woman beloved of all.

A hard-working, honest woman.

She helped in your work,

O Lord, in a thousand ways.

She was a friend to all,

a comforter to the sick.

She has left this world a little better

for having lived in it.

Those who knew her and loved her

are better for having lived

in the warmth of her understanding.

Katie Elder lived here in Clearwater

for many years.

All of us gathered here today

knew her well.

She raised four sons, John, Tom,

Matt and Bud, the youngest.

She was a woman

who wanted nothing for herself,

wanted only to give

rather than to receive.

She devoted her life

to helping her family, her friends.

Earth to earth,

ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

ln the sure and certain belief

in resurrection unto the eternal life.

O God, whose mercies

cannot be numbered,

answer our prayers

on behalf of thy servant's soul...

...and grant her an entrance

into the land of light and joy... the fellowship of thy saints. Amen.


You know,

she sold me a blind horse once.

A woman doing that to me.

She really suckered me good.

This is Katie.

She was named after your mother.

She's a handsome baby.

l just thought you would like to know it.

- One of you missing, ain't there?

- Yes, sir. John, the oldest.

He moves around a lot.

- lf there's anything l can do...

- Thank you, Parson, you done plenty.

Done what? Wrote a few letters?

No, sir, that was

a real nice sermon you gave.

She belonged to have pretty words

spoke over her, and l didn't do it.

l thought you spoke good,

Parson, real good.

Not good enough, not for her.

l don't suppose you'd know that.

- Billy.

- Hello, John.

You ought to have better sense

than that, coming up behind a man.

You're as fast as you used to be,

maybe faster.

- Been getting lots of practice?

- Still haven't got a newspaper here?

No, but we do have a gossip

about every twenty feet.

Why did you come into town the back

way, John? You figuring on trouble?

There's always somebody looking

for some. Clearwater's no different.

But that's one thing

l don't want, Billy... trouble.

- How long you planning to stay?

- l don't know. l just got here.

People usually let you take your hat off

'fore they ask you to leave.

l'm not asking you to leave. l'm just

asking how long you figure to stay.

ls there any reason

why l shouldn't stay?

Yes, as a matter of fact,

there's a couple of reasons.

For one, this ain't your home any more.

You gave that up some years ago.

Go on.

And two,

another man came to town today.

l understand he's real good with a gun.

- Who is he?

- l don't know. He's a stranger.

But l understand he hires out.

And three,

l've got myself a young deputy

who's real conscientious about his job.

- Am l wanted for anything, Billy?

- No.

- Then l got a good idea.

- Yeah?

You send that young deputy over

to run that other fellow out of town.

l guess that'd be one way of doing it.

The only thing is,

he's not wanted for anything, either.

l come to town to see Ma buried,

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William H. Wright

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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