Wayne plays Cole Thornton, the gunfighter who comes to the town of El Dorado to help its drunken Sheriff J.P. Hara (Mitchum) take on an evil rancher.
The film is effectively a remake of Hawks’ 1959 film Rio Bravo, with Wayne essentially playing the same character. That film saw Dean Martin play a deputy with a drink problem, while and singer and actor Ricky Nelsontook on the role of a young-upstart which is similar to Caan’s role in El Dorado. The film also served as a major inspiration for John Carpenter‘s Assault On Precinct 13.
The western would be Howard Hawks’ penultimate film. His final feature was 1970’s Rio Lobo – another western starring Wayne and written by Brackett which shares similar themes and characters with El Dorado and Rio Bravo. Hawks would die in 1977 at the age of 81.
Released in 1966, El Doradowould gross $6 million at the US box office from a budget of $4.6 million.