Vera Cruz (1954)

Vera CruzPoster - Vera Cruz (1954)_06
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Written by Roland Kibbee and James R. Webb; story by Borden Chase
1954/USA
Hecht-Lancaster Productions
First viewing/Amazon Instant

Joe Erin: Next time you draw near me, better say what you’re aimin’ to shoot at.

Benjamin Trane: If I have the time, I will.

This OK Western benefits from its star power.

The story takes place during the Mexican Revolution against the rule of Emperor Maximillian.  Benjamin Trane (Gary Cooper) is a courtly ex-Confederate colonel.  He has come to Mexico to sell his services to the highest bidder in an attempt to earn money to rehabilitate his plantation.  He soon runs into flamboyant outlaw Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster). They trade barbs and Joe begins to respect Ben for his fire power if nothing else.  Joe is also in the market to sell his services.  These prove too expensive for the rebel forces so the men throw in with the Imperial army.

vera cruz

They discover that a coach they have been hired to guard on the way to Vera Cruz contains $3 million in gold and that a Countess is planning to steal the money.  They make an agreement with her but the  journey to Vera Cruz is filled with double crosses.  With George Macready as Maximillian, Cesar Romero as a marquis, and Jack Elam, Charles Bronson and Ernest Borgnine as mercenaries.

Vera Cruz 1

It looks like all the actors, particularly Lancaster, are having a lot of fun with the material. The fun is fairly infectious.

Trailer

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