We look back at the star-studded 1969 film about a quest for gold.
Editor's Note: Throughout the month of October, C&I is celebrating the golden westerns of 1969, a year that changed the game for the beloved film genre. Check the Entertainment tab each day to see a different film recommendation by C&I senior writer Joe Leydon. And be on the lookout for the upcoming November/December 2019 print edition, which prominently features one of the 25 greatest films of 1969 on its cover.
Director J. Lee Thompson’s star-studded epic western about the hunt for a legendary “valley of gold” proved to be exceptionally popular with international audiences, in part due to the offbeat casting of Egyptian-born actor Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia) as a Mexican outlaw named Colorado.
Sharif told Cowboys & Indians in a 2004 interview that he took the role to please his western-loving young son — and never regretted his decision: “I remember I had a scene by a sort of campfire or something. And there was Gregory Peck, there was Lee J. Cobb, there was Edward G. Robinson, there was Eli Wallach and Telly Savalas and Raymond Massey. All these great actors were sitting around the campfire, and I was making a speech to them. The thrill of just meeting these people — that’s a thrill that can’t be duplicated.”