Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vera Cruz

Vera Cruz is a 1954 Western directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Ernest Borgnine, Cesar Romero, Denise Darcel in her most important role, Charles Bronson, and Jack Elam. You cannot go wrong with that team. This movie feels like it was made after 1954, a bit before its time. Thoroughly enjoyable, it's surprising it's not better known and respected.
As the American Civil War was ending, another war was just beginning. The Mexican people were struggling to rid themselves of their foreign Emperor -Maximilion.

Into this fight rode a handful of Americans -ex-soldiers, adventurers, criminals- all bent on gain. The drifted South in small groups - - -

And some came alone -
via youtube:

The Museum of Modern Art praises the director and the cinematographer Ernest Laszlo. Time Out calls it "A brash, lively, and totally appealing Western". DVD Talk opens its review with this:
Robert Aldrich may have inspired the entire Italian western movement of the 1960s with this rip-roaring, cynical and slightly sadistic adventure with a subversive political dimension. Vera Cruz boasts great performances from big stars, a gallery of up 'n coming tough guy talent and frenzied direction from a big talent making his first big-budget production.
TCM has an overview. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 82%.

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