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The Comancheros
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The Comancheros (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
James Edward Grant (screenplay) and
Clair Huffaker (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Comancheros on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 October 1961 (USA) See more »
Big Jake the Adventurer... Paul Regret the Gambler... Pilar the Gypsy beauty... Three With a Past... Destined to Cross and Clash... In a Kingdom of Killers!
Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros. | Full synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(27 articles)
User Reviews:
Pretty Good John Wayne Vehicle for John Wayne Fans See more (57 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Capt. Jake Cutter

Stuart Whitman ... Paul Regret
Ina Balin ... Pilar Graile

Nehemiah Persoff ... Graile

Lee Marvin ... Tully Crow

Michael Ansara ... Amelung

Patrick Wayne ... Tobe (as Pat Wayne)

Bruce Cabot ... Maj. Henry
Joan O'Brien ... Melinda Marshall

Jack Elam ... Horseface (Comanchero)

Edgar Buchanan ... Circuit Court Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen

Henry Daniell ... Gireaux
Richard Devon ... Esteban
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Phil Arnold ... Nervous Drunk (uncredited)
Anne Barton ... Martha Schofield (uncredited)
Steve Baylor ... Comanchero (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Barfly (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Card Dealer (uncredited)

Alan Carney ... Stillwater Bartender (uncredited)
Iphigenie Castiglioni ... Josefina (uncredited)

Dennis Cole ... Blonde Youth (uncredited)
Booth Colman ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Jackie Cubat ... Fuzzy - Hotel Girl (uncredited)
Gabriel Curtiz ... Marsac (uncredited)
John Dierkes ... Ranger Bill Larsen (uncredited)
Ilana Dowding ... Mary Schofield (uncredited)
William Fawcett ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Eric Feldary ... Valtin (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Lenmana Guerin ... Indian Maid (uncredited)
Claude Hall ... Ranger (uncredited)

Tom Hennesy ... Gordo - Graile's Bodyguard (uncredited)
Tom Hernández ... Croupier (uncredited)
Joseph La Cava ... Dealer (uncredited)
George J. Lewis ... Chief Iron Shirt (uncredited)
Jon Lormer ... White-Haired Man on Riverboat (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Roger Mobley ... Bub Schofield (uncredited)
Ralph Neff ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Gregg Palmer ... Emil Bouvier - Duelist (uncredited)
Thayer Roberts ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Frank J. Scannell ... Faro Dealer (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ... Texas Ranger (uncredited)
Leigh Snowden ... Ada Belle (uncredited)

Bob Steele ... Pa Schofield (uncredited)
Lusita Triana ... Spanish Dancer (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Riverboat Pit Boss (uncredited)
Aissa Wayne ... Bessie Marshall (uncredited)
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Ed McBain - Gunrunner (uncredited)
Henry Wills ... Ranger (uncredited)
Sam Wolfe ... Poker Player (uncredited)
Kelly Yost ... Indian (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Curtiz 
John Wayne (uncredited)
Writing credits
James Edward Grant (screenplay) and
Clair Huffaker (screenplay)

Paul Wellman (novel) (as Paul I. Wellman)

Produced by
George Sherman .... producer
Original Music by
Elmer Bernstein 
Cinematography by
William H. Clothier (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler  (as Louis Loeffler)
Art Direction by
Jack Martin Smith 
Alfred Ybarra 
Set Decoration by
Robert Priestley (set decorations) (as Robert Priestly)
Walter M. Scott (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Marjorie Best 
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack R. Berne .... assistant director
Cliff Lyons .... director: action sequences
Art Department
Don B. Greenwood .... property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Alfred Bruzlin .... sound
Warren B. Delaplain .... sound
Denny Arnold .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Philip Crawford .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Hart .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Hennesy .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Morry Ogden .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Orven Schanzer .... first assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator
Laurindo Almeida .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Robert Bain .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Elmer Bernstein .... conductor (uncredited)
Pete Carpenter .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Wally Heglin .... music copyist (uncredited)
Louis Kaufman .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Albert Sendrey .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Urban Thielmann .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Other crew
Harold Belfer .... dances staged by (as Hal Belfer)
Tom Mankiewicz .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm mag-optical prints) (Westrex Recording System) | Mono (35 mm optical prints)
Australia:PG | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1961) | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Iceland:12 | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating: cut by 8 sec) (2003) | UK:PG (video rating: cut by 11 sec) (1988) | USA:Approved (PCA #20020) | West Germany:12 (nf)

Did You Know?

Besides the name of William H. Clothier, the film's director of photography, another crew member's name that appears in the hotel registry signed by "Ed McBain" is that of Jack R. Berne, an assistant director on the film.See more »
Continuity: When Pa Schofield goes out of the house with the baby in his arms and calls his friends, the baby is completely covered. So we see the Cutter's hand discovering the baby's face in close-up. Next shot the baby is still completely covered.See more »
Circuit Court Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen:Most say, except for them who are unfair minded, that I have the finest legal mind in the entire southwest. So you can have faith in your lawyer, son. How much money you got?
Paul Regret:I don't have any.
Circuit Court Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen:Well, I'm beginning to doubt your chances against the law.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin (2000) (TV)See more »
Red WingSee more »


Was the anvil that actor Stuart Whitman (Paul Regret) had to carry around in some scenes a fake or an actual anvil? He sure did a good job of making it look like a real, very heavy anvil.
See more »
22 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
Pretty Good John Wayne Vehicle for John Wayne Fans, 30 September 2005
Author: tightspotkilo from Oregon, USA

This is an entertaining John Wayne movie, with a good cast. It may not rank right up there with the great John Ford westerns and other films The Duke was in, it nevertheless presents the essence of John Wayne during this phase of his career (call it "mid-career"), and actually foreshadows the John Wayne we would see for the rest and remainder of his career. This is a high quality, well-made film --probably a testament Michael Curtiz's directing-- and the quality of the film, and its obvious production values, are evident throughout. One way this shows itself is, although the movie was made in 1961, it really seems and feels like a much newer movie, made 5 or even 10 years later than it was. I don't know what to attribute that quality to other than simply it being a well-made film.

In a way the movie is three movies, consisting of three separate but connected story arcs, any or each of which could have been beefed up and expanded into movies unto themselves. The story is thusly layered with complexity, which keeps it all interestingly moving along apace, never bogging down. It is also however the source of the movie's only real flaw. And that flaw is, as other reviewers have noted, the movie's presentation of a dubious and flawed historical chronology. And it isn't just little anachronisms like repeating rifles out of time. There is a complete confusion of historical eras and historical settings. Even though the story is set in 1843, its time seems to vacillate throughout, in one arc staying true to the story it is or purports to be, a story set in the antebellum south, but then jumping in another arc to a story appearing to be more similar to the further-western and decades later Indian wars, circa the 1870s. It seems as if there was lot of trouble deciding which of those two kinds of stories the movie was telling, a story about events in the antebellum south or a shoot-em-up story of the western Indian wars. It is likely a problem of scriptwriting, having had numerous "treatments" or rewrites by more than one writer, and those seams show. My guess is ultimately director Michael Curtiz and producer George Sherman must have decided that the typical ticket-buyers for this movie would be fans of John Wayne westerns, and that target audience would not be comprised of history majors or even history buffs, or be ones to get hung up on historical details, so they just let the historical flaws slip through.

There is one unintentionally funny moment in the movie. About mid-way through, watch for the blood-curdling scream by the bed-ridden lady (Joan O'Brien?) at the outpost when she looks out the window and sees the supposed Indian raiders crossing the river. It is truly a classic and world-class movie scream. I wonder how many takes that took.

One of the movie's three story arcs features Lee Marvin. This is a pre-Cat Ballou, pre-Dirty Dozen Lee Marvin who at this point in his career wasn't really yet a bigtime Hollywood household name, at least not like he would later become. Marvin turns in a marvelous over-the-top performance as a gun-dealing rapscallion, in my opinion flat-out stealing every scene he's in. That's no small feat, considering in all of his scenes he was playing directly off against John Wayne, who almost fades into the woodwork in the comparison. Actually Wayne sublimates himself quite well. He knew how to be a team player, and the chemisrty between Wayne and Marvin is good. Unfortunately this story arc is really nothing much more than a side-story than anything else, so Marvin's role is quite limited. Too bad. I would've liked to have seen a lot more of Marvin in this film. It would have been a better movie for it.

Lee Marvin, John Wayne and Marvin appeared together again two years later in John Ford's Donovan's Reef, with Marvin again playing a lesser role.

This movie pops up regularly on the Encore Westerns channel. I've seen it there about 5 times over the last 6 months. Watch for it.

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