Paint Your Wagon, released in 1969, stars Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg, also features supporting actors Harve Presnell, Ray Walston, Alan Dexter and John Mitchum. This American Western musical was the end of the popularity with the movie-going public of musicals adapted or written for the big screen.
Set in a mining camp in California during the Gold Rush era, the wild, wild west comes alive. Upon the discovery of gold while digging a grave, prospector Ben Rumson (Marvin) stakes a claim to the burial site, and adopts the surviving, injured brother as his “Pardner”(Eastwood) while he recuperates from his injuries in the accident which killed his brother. A naïve romantic, Pardner is not caught up by gold fever and only wants to earn enough money to buy some land. The prospector promises to share the spoils of his prospecting in return for Pardner’s taking care of him and keeping him safe during his times of melancholy and drunkenness. As more prospectors arrive, a tent city, known as No Name City springs up. Polygamy, wife selling, polyandry, brothels with “French tarts,” gambling, saloon fights, and property destruction of an entire town follow. As might be predicted, nothing good results when Pardner agrees to share a household to watch over Elizabeth (Seberg) when Ben heads up the mission to bring “6 French tarts” to No Name City to combat the loneliness and boost the gold mining efforts of the male prospectors. When Elizabeth and Pardner fall in love, Elizabeth convinces Ben and Pardner that their polyandrous arrangement should be fine: if a Mormon can have 2 wives, why shouldn’t she have two husbands? All is well until the arrival of “civilized” Easterners whose parson sets about to get the community to give up its evil ways.
Adapted by Paddy Chayefsky from the 1951 Broadway musical of the same name, the movie was produced by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by Joshua Logan. The movie received one Oscar nomination for Best Score (Lerner and Loewe).