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Vera Cruz (1954)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Western  |  25 December 1954 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 6,171 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 38 critic

During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

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Title: Vera Cruz (1954)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nina (as Sarita Montiel)
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Tex
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James McCallion ...
Morris Ankrum ...
Gen. Ramírez
James Seay ...
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Archie Savage ...
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Pittsburgh (as Charles Buchinsky)
Charles Horvath ...
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Storyline

After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico to fight in their revolution for money. The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin and his men, and together they are hired by the Emperor Maximillian and the Marquis Henri de Labordere to escort the Countess Marie Duvarre to the harbor of Vera Cruz. Ben and Erin find that the stagecoach is transporting US$ 3,000,000.00 in gold hidden below the seat and they scheme to steal it. Along their journey, betrayals and incidents happen changing their initial intentions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Giants Battle In The Biggest Spectacle Of Them All!

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Istiklal kahramanlari  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Burt Lancaster was quite happy to cede top billing to Gary Cooper, knowing that the older actor had more box office pull than he did. See more »

Goofs

Yellow Boy is the nickname of the 1866 Winchester, called such because of its brass frame. The Henry of 1860 was superceded by the 1866 Winchester because of its several significant improvements. There was no 1872 model. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Benjamin Trane: Howdy. You an American?
Joe Erin: You interested in me or the horses?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: As the American Civil War ended, another war was just beginning. The Mexican people were struggling to rid themselves of their foreign Emperor - - - Maximilian. Into this fight rode a handful of Americans - - - ex-soldiers, adventurers, criminals-- all bent on gain. They drifted South in small groups - - AND SOME CAME ALONE- See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Vera Cruz
Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Now we both got girls."
22 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Vera Cruz is an old fashioned buddy western with two dissimilar buddies with 180 degree contrasting acting styles.

Since one of the co-stars was the producer of this, he got the showier part. But in truth I certainly couldn't see casting either one in the other's part.

Burt Lancaster was the producer and star and he got the scenery chewing role of Joe Erin, disarmingly charming and ruthlessly amoral gunfighter down in Mexico working for Emperor Maximilian for a price. He's leading a mini army himself of gunfighters that include among other, Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson.

Along the way Lancaster hooks up with Gary Cooper, former Southern Colonel Ben Trane, who's also looking to restart his life by making some money in Mexico so he can rebuild his plantation in Reconstruction Louisiana.

Basically these two play themselves or at least stay true to the image that we have of both Cooper and Lancaster.

The prize her is a big gold shipment that Maximilian is sending out of Mexico to pay for more troops from Napoleon III. The gunfighters are escorting it, but they don't know it. They think the job is to escort a squeeze of Maximilian's, nicely packaged in the shape of Denise Darcel.

Just about everyone in the film from George Macready playing Maximilian to Cesar Romero playing a French marquis down to Lancaster, Cooper, Darcel, and the rest of the gunfighters all have their own plans for the three million in gold they're carrying. Let's just say that it's no surprise where it winds up.

Morris Ankrum plays a solid version of a Juarista general and Mexican film star, Sarita Montiel, does one of two American films, the other being Serenade with Mario Lanza. She was and is a big name in the Mexican and Spanish cinema and no doubt her presence sold a few tickets south of the Rio Grande. She's an extraordinarily beautiful woman and she pairs with Cooper as Darcel pairs with Lancaster.

Some of the dialog is a bit hokey. I always laugh whenever I hear Darcel tell Lancaster "at heart you are French." But the action moves right along under Director Robert Aldrich and the climatic battle between the French and the Juaristas is well staged.


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