Alvarez Kelly (1966)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  October 1966 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,508 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 6 critic

During the Civil War, Mexican cattleman Alvarez Kelly supplies the Union with cattle until Confederate Colonel Tom Rossiter's hungry men force Kelly to change his customers.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alvarez Kelly
Col. Tom Rossiter
Liz Pickering
Major Albert Stedman
Victoria Shaw ...
Charity Warwick
Capt. Angus Ferguson
Richard Rust ...
Sergeant Hatcher
Arthur Franz ...
Capt. Towers
Lt. Farrow (as Donald Barry)
Duke Hobbie ...
John Beaurider
Cpl. Peterson
Mauritz Hugo ...
Ely Harrison
Barry Atwater ...
General Kautz (as G. B. Atwater)
Robert Morgan ...
Capt. Williams


Suave Mexican cattleman Alvarez Kelly has little interest in the Civil War except to make some money. But after a long drive to deliver cattle to the Unionists he finds himself kidnapped by Confederate Colonel Tom Rossiter. With his hungry troops surrounded in Richmond the Colonel intends, one way or the other, to persuade Kelly to help steal the herd and move it into town. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Carving a legend of greatness from the Blue Ridge to the Rio Grande ! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Richmond Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Sony print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both William Holden and director Edward Dmytryk were concerned about the script of the film before production even began. At one point during filming, Holden, who was hung-over and dealing with an unruly horse, became angry and tried shoving the script up the horse's rear, yelling, "That's where it belongs!" See more »


Despite the firepower of the Union Cavalry at the bridge, not one steer is seen to fall down dead or wounded. There are fallen cattle seen after the herd has crossed the bridge, but these are obviously live cattle with their legs tied, as can be seen when they struggle to stand up. See more »


Alvarez Kelly: God deliver me from dedicated men.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In every war................... In every age.................... The forgotten weapon is.................... Food. For to kill, soldiers must live................... to live, they must eat.................... And a herd of cattle is as vital as a herd of cannon...................

The United States in 1864. See more »


Alvarez Kelly
Music by Johnny Green (as John Green)
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by The Brothers Four
See more »

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User Reviews

"The slickest piece of cattle-rustling I've heard tell of" A. Lincoln
26 June 2001 | by (Front Royal, VA) – See all my reviews

"Alvarez Kelly", made in 1966, supposedly tells the story of a cattle herd that was headed for Union lines during the latter months of the Civil War but was stolen by Confederate raiders, and ended up in Richmond, or so the movie says. That brings the quote listed in my summary to bear. While this may have been a fictitious event in the American Civil War, the movie does give a decent look at life during those turbulent years when one side was simply using might to slowly beat down the other side.

William Holden plays the owner of the cattle herd who has arranged, for a price, to deliver a prime beef herd to Union lines during the latter year of the War, 1864. As Kelly, he'll do anything that can be done, as long as there is a handsome fee at the end of the task. Richard Widmark plays the leader of the Confederate raiders who is just as determined to get the herd delivered, but not to Yankees, but instead to starving Confederate soldiers and citizens. His Southern accent is a bit contrived, but bearable. Widmark is able to convince Holden to change the route of the herd; however, the Union army is going to have to be contended with, as they know this herd was intended for them.

An easy film to watch, just don't put much historical truth with it.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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