Scandalous John

Scandalous John

Synopsis of Movie

Disney’s Scandalous John set the Don Quixote story in the American West, as one stubborn old coot struggled to keep the Old West alive and kicking well past its (and his) glory days. Gruff, but loveable Brian Keith (The Parent Trap, TV’s Family Affair) took on the gruff, but loveable role of John McCanless, while the future “El Guapo,” Alfonso Arau, played his Sancho Panza-like ranch hand Paco.

John McCanless used to be a relatively famous gunslinger, but the new, “respectable” West is no place for an old-time outlaw. McCanless now runs a small ranch, but even that is threatened by the new order, as developer Barton Whittaker wants to buy the land for a new dam project. That really chaps Scandalous John’s hide.

With the help of Paco and of John’s slightly more sensible daughter Amanda, the aging rancher mounts one last cattle drive, despite the fact that he only owns one run-down steer. Soon enough, John’s crusty attitude lands him in the pokey, but even though he now needs glasses to get off a straight shot, this old gunslinger ain’t going down without a good fight.

Scandalous John, like its fellow Disney western One Little Indian, played as much to the heart as it did the funny bone. As such, the film never had the same kind of re-release success as straight comedies like The Apple Dumpling Gang, but its leathery charms weren’t lost on those who saw it during its big-screen run.

Movie Release History

1971 - Scandalous John

Movie Sub Categories


Movie Studio



John McCanless Brian Keith
Paco Martinez Alfonso Arau
Amanda McCanless Michele Carey
Jimmy Whittaker Rick Lenz
Sheriff Pippin Harry Morgan
Barton Whittaker Simon Oakland
Sheriff Hart Bill Williams
Card Dealer Christopher Dark
Farm Woman Fran Ryan
Sludge Bruce Glover
Old Indian Richard Hale
Grotch Jimmy Lydon
Wandell John Ritter
Mavis Iris Adrian
Bartender Larry D. Mann

Other Movie Links