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Vera Cruz (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 25 December 1954 (USA)
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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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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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 ...
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film released in the "SuperScope" wide-screen process. Shot at a conventional 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the film was cropped to 2:1 in post-production, given a CinemaScope-compatible (2x) squeeze and blown up to normal frame height. SuperScope was designed to achieve anamorphic prints from standard flat 35mm negatives. The MGM DVD approximates the 2:1 release print aspect ratio. SuperScope was the fore-runner of "Super 35". See more »

Goofs

During the rifle marksmanship display at Maximillians ball, they use Pittsburghs rifle, a winchester 1894 which did not exist in 1866. Also the Americans carry colt SAA pistols not available until 1873. 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

 
The Whitest Teeth In The West!
29 May 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Vera Cruz" is not a bad western but it could have been better. It's about two soldiers of fortune (Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster) who venture into Mexico following the American Civil War to hire themselves out to the highest bidder between the forces of Emperor Maximillian (George Macready) and the revolutionaries led by Morris Ankrum. It turns out that there is a large shipment of gold that everyone is trying to get their hands on. There are double crosses and triple crosses a plenty before the matter is finally settled.

Cooper plays Benjamin Trane a former Confederate Colonel who rides in alone and meets up with grinning teethy all in black gunslinger Joe Erin (Lancaster). Erin has a gang that includes the likes of Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson (using his real name, Buchinsky) and Jack Elam. Jack Lambert heads up a gang that opposes that of Lancaster.

Cesar Romero plays the Marquis Henri de Labordere a senior but corrupt official in Maximillian's government and Henry Brandon plays his second in command. Denise Darcel and Sarita Montiel provide the female treachery, each after the gold for their own reasons and of course involving our heroes.

Cooper looks out of place as Trane, a little too long in the tooth to be convincing as the fast on the draw hero. Lancaster on the other hand, apparently was given his head by Director Robert Aldrich and goes way over the top flashing those pearly whites at every opportunity. It was interesting to see Borgnine and Bronson in early roles before they made it big. Romero dashing as always, steals the picture in my opinion.

The battles scenes are well staged and exciting and the wide screen photography is spectacular.

"Vera Cruz" is OK if you don't mind being blinded by the "whitest teeth in the west".


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