Friday 19 May 2023

Paint Your Wagon mystery photograph

Paint Your Wagon mystery photograph 

Here’s a really strange picture I discovered recently, taken from Paint Your Wagon (1969), the scene depicts Marvin in what appears to be his Union Blues uniform addressing a small group of troops. Marvin of course does wear this uniform briefly in the movie, notably during the coach sequence where he kidnaps half-a dozen (’6 French tarts’) in order to bring them back to No Name City. The scene is tied in to the song There’s a coach coming in. It’s also evident during this sequence that Marvin (alongside the charging coach) is flanked by a small number of confederate soldiers on horseback escorting the coach into town. 

So, this led me to consider if this was un fact originally a scene shot prior to the kidnapping of the girls, perhaps discussing the plan of action and Ben (Marvin) providing orders to ‘his troops’? It’s certainly a curious shot which does not appear in the finished movie as we know it. We can’t of course actually say that it was shot at all, this may have just been a rehearsal, or in fact an opportunity to simply grab a photo intended for future publicity? 

Paint Your Wagon will always be a hard one to fully examine, its history really does deserve some form of deep analysis and a publication detailing the production would prove to be a fascinating read. Clint actually claimed to have seen three different versions of the movie: the director's cut, the producers' cut, and the studio's cut. He said that the version prepared by director Joshua Logan, whom he greatly admired, was easily the best, "but that wasn't the one that was released".

It remains a curious photo, and one that is perhaps destined to always remain a mystery. 

No comments: