Back in 1969, a musical came out that should have done very well at the box office: It was Paint Your Wagon, a Western musical starring Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg, Harve Presnell and Ray Walston, and directed by Joshua Logan. The film was adapted by Paddy Chayefsky from the 1951 musical Paint Your Wagon by Lerner and Loewe. The story is set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California.
It had some great songs in it, such as "I Was Born Under a Wandering Star", "They Call the Wind Mariah" and "I Talk to the Trees."
The locations were gorgeous; Paint Your Wagon was filmed in Baker City, Ore.; Big Bear, Calif.; and the San Bernardino National Forest.
But musicals were on their way out in 1969, particularly with younger people. What's more, by the time the movie was done, it ran for three hours becoming rather notorious for the lengthy run time.
There were so many delays in the shooting it frustrated actor Clint Eastwood, who vowed if he ever became a director, he would never do the same thing.
Paint Your Wagon was the sixth highest-grossing film in 1969; that would normally be good for Paramount Pictures, but the film's budget was so overblown that its costs were not recouped.
Although Eastwood sang "I Talk to the Trees" in Paint Your Wagon, on this week's Flicks in Five, we'll hear Bryn Terfel's interpretation.