Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) Poster

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7/10
Fun Little Western With Eastwood and MacLaine
Don Siegel's "Two Mules For Sister Sara" starring Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine is certainly not one of the brilliant Westerns with Eastwood, but it is a very well directed, greatly acted and very amusing little Western comedy with good wit that highly entertains. Eastwood, who is cool as always, and the lovable MacLaine match perfectly, and the plot has some nice twists (although it should be said that some of the 'twists' are not really too surprising).

After gunsling Hogan (Eastwood) saves a nun named Sara (MacLaine) from a bunch of guys who wanted to rape her in the middle of the desert by shooting them, he now has to take care of her, which annoys him. It's a time of revolution against the French in Mexico, and while Hogan, who is interested in quick money, will fight for whichever side pays well (which happens to be the revolutionaries), his new traveling companion Sara is very obviously an idealistic supporter of the revolutionary Juaristas...

As mentioned above, "Two Mules For Sister Sara" can in no way come up to the brilliance of Eastwood movies such as Leone's Dollar Trilogy (few movies can) or Eastwood's very own "High Plains Drifter" of 1973. Nevertheless, it is a good little western with a lot of charm and wit, which provides an exciting story, action and great entertainment as well as many good laughs. Clint Eastwood has always been the epitome of coolness, especially in his Westerns, and MacLaine is great in her role of the feisty sister Sara. Overall, "Two Mules For Sister Sara" is a highly entertaining Western Comedy, that will not leave anybody bored. Recommended! 7/10
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7/10
A very engaging time-passer,....but what about the two mules,....what two mules are they talking about, exactly?!
MartinHafer17 August 2006
This film is a nice change of pace for a Clint Eastwood Western. While in some ways Clint's character isn't that much different from some of his previous cowboys (he's great with a gun and is motivated by greed....until the end...just like in FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE), the chemistry of adding Shirley MacLaine really changes the film. Together, they create an engaging, though not exactly believable pair. However, despite being tough to believe, the film is so much fun and written and acted so well, that you really don't mind.

The film itself was made in Mexico with many Mexican actors. This, combined with a somewhat restrained score by Ennio Morricone, make this movie look in many ways like a "Spaghetti Western", though it was financed and directed by Americans. For these reasons, the film is like a bridge from Eastwood's earlier westerns to his more recent ones.

About the only negative about the film other than how difficult it was to believe the plot at times, was that the "secret" about MacLaine's character didn't seem like that big of a surprise,...yet the supremely smart and savvy Eastwood had no idea! THIS was the hardest part to believe! However, the film is still great fun and well worth seeing. My wife, who hates westerns, actually watched it with me and enjoyed it so I guess this cowboy pic might have a wider audience than some westerns.

By the way, which mules, exactly, were they referring to?! This confusing title had me thinking that I must have missed something!
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8/10
The gunfighter helps the nun and vice versa.
The famous critic Pauline Kael in an interview mentioned that the opinion about a film sometimes changes according to the time that the film is viewed. A film that might be great when seen for the first time ten years later might seem completely outdated and vice versa. 'Two Mules' is a western that was released at a time that the public wanted something else. What they wanted was Clint Eastwood 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly' style, and that was what he kept doing for the next years. 'Two Mules' was considered a failure, specially because of Shirley MacLaine that did not fit into the standard Eastwood pattern. Nowadays the story is different, the film is worth seeing, specially because of MacLaine. Most of the time they are together and it works very well, Eastwood is less serious than usual and it is very funny how he tries to understand how a nun thinks. The music by Morriconne has a comic touch and together with the wild creatures that are shown on the screen like a scorpion, a rattlesnake, a mountain lion gives a great beginning. The final part does not keep the same level, but those two great actors and their funny relationship are quite enough to make this a very good film. The script of the film was originally written by Budd Boetticher while he was filming "Aruzza" in Mexico. He needed money very badly to complete "Aruzza" so he sold the script, and got very upset later on when they did not make the film the way he wanted.
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8/10
The film echoes "The African Queen," but...
Nazi_Fighter_David2 September 2000
With the intervention of Napoleon III of France, Archduque Maximilian was installed as emperor in Mexico but Mexican countrymen known as Juaristas (Juarez' resistance) were fighting to demonstrate that their country could act independently, that - as the reform contended - all men were equal under law, and that foreign monarchical adventures in Mexico were futile...

Sister Sara (Shirley MacLaine), presumably a nun, has adopted their cause and is being pursued by the French army for raising money to the Juaristas... Hogan (Clint Eastwood) is a wonder obliged to neither party... He appears unexpectedly when Sister Sara is about to be raped by three men... Fortunately for her, he kills them all...

But unlike the 'Man With No Name,' Eastwood doesn't turn and ride away... He escorts the good-looking nun in her mission...

But the nun's strange behavior intrigues his curiosity... She smokes cigars, she drinks whiskey and her language comes to be every day more profane...

Hogan's fascination with her arrives at its peak when she removes an Indian arrow from his shoulder, having rendering him half insensible by intoxicating him with shots of Whiskey...

After joining her to blow up a French supply train, he is persuaded to help a group of Juaristas led by Colonel Beltran (Manolo Fabregas) in a final attack on a French garrison...

The climax of "Two Mules for Sister Sara" displays the differences between Leone's conclusion which the 'Stranger' merely disappears into the mists of time... The change of image didn't excite the audience leaving the picture with enough nostalgia for the myth of the loner, the super hero, the 'Man With No Name.'

The film (beautifully shot in Color) is really a two-character story... The interesting team gives amusing and tender performances... The motion picture echoes "The African Queen," but is far away from being Hepburn/Bogart exciting adventure...
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7/10
Strange, but solid western
moonspinner5526 May 2002
Curious, unexpectedly talky western set in the Mexican desert. Drifter on horseback saves a nun from rape at the hands of bandits, she saves him by removing an arrow from his shoulder. The rapport between these two couldn't have looked very colorful on the printed page, but by God if stars Clint Eastwood and feisty Shirley MacLaine don't give it color and charisma. The writing isn't very expressive, and there's an odd drop-off in action after the opening sequence, but once you get attuned to the film's rhythm, it surprises you with its resonance. For action buffs, only the final shoot-out will please; for everyone else, a leisurely, though absorbing and entertaining, character-driven change-of-pace. *** from ****
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8/10
" I figured there was only going to be one funeral, Catholic! "
thinker169110 October 2007
When the French army took control of the country we call Mexico, they counted on one factor to help them subdue the population, . . . fear! The use of Fear, through, intimation, torture, and outright execution worked, but not in the way they thought it would. The French brutality had an effect alright, it had the disastrous consequence of cementing the people, their friends and hundreds of mercenaries into an avenging force. Although there are many stories of the revolution, several stand out as movie classics. The Professionals, is one favorite, another is, "Two Mules for Sister Sara." In this story we have an American mercenary (Clint Eastwood) named Hogan who has bitter memories of the Civil War and decides to try for a quick Gold fortune in Mexico. He agrees to help Mexican Col. Beltran (Manuel Fabregas) take the French Garrison in exchange for half the treasury. Along the way, Hogan is joined by a traveling Catholic Nun, named Sister Sara (Shirley MacLaine) who has more secrets than just fear of being captured by the French. Innicially captured by three whiskey drinking rouges who strip, humiliate and threaten the beautiful Nun, she becomes a surprising and necessary ally. In their wondering, they save each other's life until the end, when Hogan is completely shocked with Sister Sara as she reveals her most guarded secret. I loved the movie, especially it's memorable and haunting theme at the beginning of the film. Superb! ****
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8/10
Clint at his best
C.K. Dexter Haven29 April 2005
Sure, he's in the shadow here of his more famous Leone westerns, but this vehicle, amiably directed by Don Siegel and aided by a quirky Ennio Morricone score, is an entertaining little spaghetti western knockoff shot on location in Mexico. Story-wise, it's an old west Heaven Knows Mr. Allison with a comic twist, and with an offbeat nemesis in the French Army. The humorous chemistry between Eastwood's Hogan and MacLaine's Sara at times clicks so well it's hard to believe they reportedly didn't get along very well during production. Though when it comes to Shirley MacLaine nothing really surprises me.

As far as Eastwood's post Spaghetti movies, he's rarely been in better form than this. Essentially continuing his man with no name persona, he gets far more dialogue this time around which fleshes out his character and makes him a little more three dimensional. It's a nice change of pace from the Leone westerns to hear Clint spout a few humorous lines and have the odd hilarious facial expression in between his trademark squinting and snarling and cigar chomping.

Disciples of Leone's trilogy may never warm up to an admittedly hammier Clint in this, but as Clint's Hollywood westerns go, this is a fun and well made duster. Shouldn't be missed.
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9/10
Nuns and Cowboys: together at last.
Doc-17220 July 1999
The most used formula for Westerns would have to be this: approximately two to five people thrown together by dire circumstances where they're forced to brave the wilds with only their wits, each other and maybe a couple rifles. They focus mainly on character development, character interaction and the bond that develops during these manliest of adventures. Now, given this, what better combination of people is there than a nun and a cowboy? You're right! There isn't any!

Now just because the leading lady is a nun, don't think there isn't any sexual tension. It's sexual tensions abound! Not only that but it's a fun, well-made movie. Shirley MacLaine was great and, lets face it, Clint Eastwood was born to make westerns. Well, maybe not "make" them ... but he's a great cowboy. Well directed, well paced, good story, good acting and it stars a nun and a cowboy. The opening music didn't "do it" for me but even that would probably grow on me. I fully endorse this movie. Look for "Two Mules for Sister Sara" T-shirts with myself in the background giving the thumbs-up.
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8/10
What a good movie!
fleecy27 September 1998
It was a different kind of western with a surprising ending. Clint Eastwood and Shirley McClaine had great chemistry and gave great performances; especially Clint Eastwood. It was fun to watch with a good story line. Very entertaining!
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7/10
Enjoyable Western /comedy in which Eastwood and MacLaine play a funny and amusing couple
ma-cortes29 March 2013
Well crafted Western with interesting and engaging screenplay written by Albert Maltz from a story by Bud Boetticher . It deals with a nun called Sara (Shirley MacLaine) and two mules (second mule was actually a burro) , as she is attacked by three outlaws , being rescued by a drifter named Hogan (Clint Eastwood) , who is on his way across Mexican desert and becoming wary of her religious nature . Gringo Hogan arrives in Mexico do some reconnaissance, for a next mission to capture a French fort , so he decides to help her in return for information about the defences . Inevitably both of them become good friends but Sara has a twisted secret . At the end takes place a needlessly violent slaughter against Maximiliano army . Hogan is the deadliest man alive , he takes on a whole army with two guns and a fistful of dynamite! .

This classic as well as diverting Western results to be a good fun that contains thrills , humor , slow and deliberating filming , elaborate shoot-outs , and portentous battles with bloodbaths included . It's a special following to original ¨Dollars trilogy¨ with Eastwood as ¨Man with no name¨ ; as this new role as Hogan bears remarkable resemblance . Clint returns his classic character of ¨The man with no name¨ and MacLaine is an unlikely nun in this amusing comedy Western . Shirley MacLaine did not get along during the shoot with director Don Siegel , with whom she openly fought . While in Austria filming ¨When eagles dare¨, Clint Eastwood was approached with the script by Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton's wife at the time, with the notion of starring together in the film ; however, Universal Pictures was unwilling to pay Taylor's high salary . Being a Mexico/USA co-production in the picture appears numerous Mexican secondary actors such as Manuel Fabregas , Enrique Lucero , Armando Silvestre , among others . Maestro Ennio Morricone composes a groundbreaking and streaking soundtrack , including some comic touches . Colorful and evocative cinematography in Panavision by excellent Mexican cameraman Gabriel Figueroa and uncredited Robert Surtees , being filmed in Cuaútla, Morelos, Jantetelco, Tlayacapan, Mexico .

The motion picture was rightly produced by Martin Rackin and well directed by Donald Siegel . His first feature as a director was 1946's The Verdict (1946). He made his reputation in the early and mid-'50s with a series of tightly made, expertly crafted, tough but intelligent "B" pictures , among them : The Lineup (1958), Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), Invasion of the body snatchers (1956)), then graduated to major "A" films in the 1960s and early 1970s. He made several "side trips" to television, mostly as a producer . Siegel directed what is generally considered to be Elvis Presley's best picture, Flamingo Star (1960). All of Eastwood's later Western and his ¨Dirty Harry¨ movies owe a considerable debt to Sergio Leone and Donald Siegel . As Donald directed Eastwood in various films , such as : Coogan's bluff , The beguiled , Dirty Harry , Escape from Alcatraz and , of course , this ¨ Two mules and sister Sara¨. He had a long professional relationship and personal friendship with Clint Eastwood, who has often said that everything he knows about filmmaking he learned from Don Siegel . ¨Two mules and sister Sara¨ is an enjoyable film for Clint Eastwood and Donald Siegel enthusiasts , including their usual trademarks , it's full of which made their films so memorable, others might find it a bit long but no one can deny its sense of style what achieved a great burst of world-wide popularity .
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