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The movie takes place during a bloody time period of Mexico history
that time, anyone coming to Mexico ought to be speaking Spanish
Lyedecker (Jim Brown) didn't speak the language
He was a black
policeman looking for a valuable man, a bank robber named Joe Herrera
(Burt Reynolds), who looks Mexican but doesn't talk Mexican
a half-breed, whose mother was a Yaqui Indian and his father was from
General Verdugo (Fernando Lamas) is sure that the money was not spent on women or on Whisky For him, Joe stole the $6,000 from the Citizen's Bank in Phoenix, Arizona to buy 100 rifles for his people, the Yaqui Indians
Verdugoa murderer and an assassin who runs the State of Sonorahave orders to get rid of the Yaquis any way he could, and he took the easy way by killing everybody He even kidnapped Yaqui children to regain the rifles And now he wants Lyedecker's head on a stick in the middle of the plaza for everyone to see
Lyedecker doesn't care about nothing and nobody He took a job that nobody else wanted His intentions are to take Joe back for the $200 reward and a permanent job The policeman rejected any deal in spite of all the atrocities he witnessed like executing Indians or hanging them up like a side of beef
Steven Grimes (Dan O'Herlihy)who runs the railroad doesn't want his train to be a small sacrifice to the mean general The German military adviser Lt. Von Klemme (Eric Braeden) thinks that the Indians must be finished off as quickly as possible before more guns come through Raquel Welch's most audacious moment comes out when the Indians attack a well-guarded train carrying troops and supplies, and she was openly showering in the flat part, under a water tower
With a very nice score by Jerry Goldsmith, "100 Rifles" is a slam-bang action epic, with loads of explosions and gory fighting, making little sense but a lot of amusing noise
Jim Brown isn't too bad as a sheriff who chases half-breed bank robber Burt Reynolds to Mexico, where both are captured by the vicious Mexican Army, but Raquel Welch is surprisingly underused as a guerrilla fighter. All the western clichés you can think of (and probably some you've forgotten) are on display here: the cliff-side brawl, the train-wreck, the dirt town shoot-out, the wild drunken party, the surprise fire, and on and on. Welch is lovely if over-the-top while warming up to manly-but-wooden Brown (when she tells him, "I am your woman", she's suddenly so serious you can almost believe it); she's also very sexy showering under a water-tower (as a ruse to get a train to stop), but 80% of the picture is given over to the men, and their squabbles are completely routine and dull. "100 Rifles" could use less rifles and more human interaction. ** from ****
The action film is a pretty obvious genre. It's purpose is to distract,
entertain, and many money. Yes, there's quite a market for this material,
probably supported by a similar audience that keep gothic paperbacks moving
in the marketplace year after year.
"100 Rifles" is a substandard action western that offers a time capsule back to the late 60s early 70s. Generally unpleasant in its excessive depiction of killing and bloodletting, the film does utilize the star talents of three interesting actors.
The lead role gave Jim Brown an opportunity to strut his macho stuff, riding horses, shooting bad guys, and fist fighting his male costar on occasion. It also provided a couple of intended heated love scenes with his leading lady. Unfortunately, Brown comes across as wooden and even disinterested here. Too, his vocal instrument is much too high pitched and unsonorous to match his impressive physicality.
Burt Reynolds comes off better, making the most of his high cheekbones and sunken eyes--lending credibility to character ethnicity. He, like Brown, is in fine physical shape, and even elects to do some fancy stuntwork himself, like jumping off a moving train.
Still, it's Rachel Welch that emerges victorious here. Here's an actress that takes on a routine part in a routine script and plays it for all its worth. Also in great shape, Welch knows that if she's got it, she might as well flaunt it. She does, and we are the appreciative recipients.
The film also shows how much energy it takes to do this kind of production. Not a great deal of brainwork required, but a barrelful of brawnwork.
I admit that I liked the film, rather more than I expected to. Jim Brown, while not a professional actor held his own for the most part, although his scenes with Raquel Welch seemed a little forced. This makes me think that acting is not really that hard to do acceptably, since so many non-actors have done OK at it. Welch does her part and looked wonderful. Burt Reynolds was at the top of his game here, before he became a world-wide phenomenon, still had to make his way ACTING. Fernando Lamas was suitably evil as the native general/governor trying to commit genocide on the poor, misunderstood, peaceful Indians. And I have to mention the beauty of the late Soledad Miranda. She brightened the screen in the short time she was on it.
Judging by the plot this movie shows up as a pretty typical action
western of the late sixties with revolution stuff leaning strongly on
the messages of counterculture and the Vietnam era. Mostly it seems to
ride somewhere between 'The Professionals' and 'The Wild Bunch' for its
mood and action. A strong link through the story can also be made to
Damiano Damiani's 'A Bullet for the General', an excellent spaghetti
western with some political overtones. In '100 Rifles' one can forget
the politics and concentrate on action. This is a very violent western
but still surprisingly low on gore. A bit like in those older westerns,
a lot of shooting and stabbing and whatever without gushing copious
amounts of fake blood. Maybe that suits better here. We have seen
enough Peckinpah imitations already.
The film takes full advantage of Raquel Welch's well working sex appeal. The hot love scene between her and Jim Brown was considered controversial at the time the movie came out. Now it's just two people making love and Welch really enjoying her work or being corny, judge yourself. Brown makes a highly likable hero and Reynolds in his before super-stardom state of career is also good as a halfbreed bandit with the familiar glint in the eye. At times I got the feeling he was lightly making fun of Marlon Brando's Zapata. That may be, because I recently saw on DVD an old episode of Sonny and Cher Show in which he was successfully aping Brando's Kowalski from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and was so funny. So, an okay action western but nothing revolutionary in spite of the story subject.
this my not be the best western ever made but for my money this is a
great action flick. the action has not dated to bad. this is an action
movie with the next battle more a priority than plot or story. I'm not
saying this is a bad thing because we have see umpteen storys of this
type before, so what tom grimes is give us a solid action movie in a
as for the cast they are just outstanding, especially rachael. I'm a burt fan so he can't do no wrong but the surprise is big jim brown probably his best role. all the extras were good excluding some poor death scenes throughout but hay it is also a western and that comes with the territory.
100m rifles is truly worth seeing and the DVD look stunning a good transfer probably looks better than ever. if you have not watch a western before give it a go if your a western fan give it another go you will be surprised how well it has stood the test of time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some filmgoers may be surprised to know that there was a time when Brown could command top-billing over Welch and Reynolds. Here he plays a deputy sheriff, traveling across the Mexican border to retrieve Reynolds, who has robbed an American bank of $6,000. Just as Brown is about to nab Reynolds, all hell breaks loose due to Mexican general Lamas persecution of freedom-fighting peasants, led by curvaceous Welch. With commitment, purpose and loyalty questioned occasionally, Brown, Reynolds and Welch all wind up working together against Lamas, who is allied with O'Herlihy, a railroad representative, and Braeden, a German officer on hand to advise Lamas. The title weapons become a bargaining chip as both sides work hard to defeat the other. Before it's all over, a lot of bullets have been fired, a lot of things have been burned or blown up and plenty of blood has been spilled. Brown, who possessed a laid-back, almost gentle screen presence, is not as comfortable before the camera as he would later become, though his amiability and chemistry with Reynolds helps. Welch is, of course, quite stunning physically, but her acting (which includes a theek Mehican accent!) isn't exactly stellar. Also, not only did she not get along with Reynolds at all, but she also reneged on a nude scene she was supposed to film (it was done with a wet shirt instead.) She also, according to Brown, refused to do their love scene unless she had fabric in between their chests. Their highly publicized love scene is tame now, though it was surely arresting at the time. Stella Stevens would go further when she and Brown made "Slaughter" a few years later. Reynolds conveniently plays a half-Yaqui Indian and half Alabaman. His innate charisma allows him to walk away with most of his scenes while his sense of amused abandon foreshadows his later career. Lamas has a good time as the relentless villain of the film while O'Herlihy is appropriately shifty in his part. The towering Forest (best known for playing Apollo on an episode of "Star Trek") plays Welch's silent helpmate. Miranda has a spicy bit role as one of Reynolds' bedmates. The score for the film, by Jerry Goldsmith, is excellent, containing some unusual sounds/"instruments" no doubt left over from "The Planet of the Apes." There's a lot of action, perhaps even too much since the personal story gets a bit eclipsed along the way and characters long to be fleshed out a little bit more. Still, it's an attractive, interesting cast going through the motions of a sometimes-rousing film. There are a few images of drunken Indians that seem blatantly stereotypical and derogatory these days. At least there is a certain degree of scope in the number of extras used and the spectacle of the train careening into town in the finale. It's a moderately effective time filler.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was well directed by Tom Gries a veteran TV director (Route 66,
Combat, Rat Patrol, Man From Uncle) who's previous Western was "Will
This is a "no-pata" Western, sort of like a Zapata Western with no politics much like "The Wild Bunch" which fits this category.
The cast has Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Frenando Lamas, Eric Braeden, Aldo Sambrel, and a lot of SW extras that you will recognize. Shot in beautiful Almeria, the release is in uncut widescreen.
The story opens with the hanging of Sarita's (Welches) father by the Federales. Officer Verdugo (Lamas) is a blood-thirsty bastard, and he purposely pulls the horse out from Sarita's father so slowly so he's strangled rather than has his neck broke. Sarita runs up and jumps upon her father using her weight to kill him quickly, its a powerful scene.
Sarita now becomes a Soldada, a Yaqui leader.
Jim Brown ex NFL football star isn't all that bad in this and he is believable as Arizona policeman Lyedecker on the trail of Yaqui Joe a Half Breed cross of a Yaqui Indian-Alabama Good-old-boy father (Burt Reynolds) who has robbed 6,000 dollars from an Arizona bank. With which he purchased the 100 rifles of the title for Sarita and The Yaquis.
This film does have some great action set pieces the escape of Yaqui Joe & Lyedecker out of the train and through the town shows off Reynolds stuntman abilities and Brown's athleticism.
There is a great bout of horsemanship as the group of Yaquis descend down an unbelievably steep canyon, its really pretty exciting seeing the horses negotiate that decent.
All the action sequences are good, no complaints, especially Raquel's shower sequence (more like a wet "T" shirt shower) where she stops a troop train by a water tower, watch the spider holes.
The train wreck at the end is also done well.
I'm thinking now that these American or British financed Euro shot Zapatas & "nopatas" are some of the best clones of the general SW trends in Westerns that influenced the genre after Leone's successes. They never reached the heights that Leone did with "gunfight" based Westerns (like FAFDM or GBU) but with "Villa Rides" a Zapata and this film they very good jobs of cloning the Italian directors, the only missing elements are the innovative camera angles and the picaresque characters. I also thought "Chato's Land" was very good in its chase/manhunt sub genre while The Hunting Party was good but had a few minor flaws.
On the other hand Welches Hannie Caulder is lame in comparison.
100 Rifles even has a decent score, its not at Morricone's level but its good enough.
Another couple of interesting angles is the emergence of Welch as a strong believable protagonist in this film, and also the inter-racial sexual affair between Brown & Welch. Cinematically speaking I don't quite know if after "The Great Silence" breaking this particular taboo if this was the next instance of inter-racial love or not.
This is one of Jim Browns best performances in a Western that I've seen so far, though I've not seen them all , and haven't seen El Condor since seeing it in a theater years ago so that claim may change.
Its worth finding and buying for your collection
Sheriff Lyedecker (Jim Brown) comes to Mexiko as he chases the bank
robber Yaqui Joe (Burt Reynolds). As a victim of circumstance,
Lyedecker becomes the number 1 enemy of a Mexican general who wants to
kill the Yaqui Indians. The sheriff has no other choice than to fight
side by side with the bank robber and the Indians now...
The years 1969-1971 mark the beginning of the modern western with the irony of Little Big Man", the cruelty of Soldier Blue", the myth awareness of Butch Cassidy And the Sundance Kid", the depression of McCabe & Mrs Miller" and many more. 100 Rifles" is a kind of missing link between 1960s westerns and the new approach as from 1970 onwards. It makes deliberate, obvious attempts to break taboos, telling the love story between a black guy and a white woman, pushes violence to the level of an Italian western of that time, includes nudity not only in Raquel Welch's famous shower scene, but also in Soledad Miranda's hotel scene at the beginning, and the screenplay adds a left-wing political, anti-racist theme. 100 Rifles" gets carried away by its own enthusiasm sometimes, putting forward its messages a bit clumsily compared to the elegance of The Professionals", a movie which took much more careful steps into the revolution movie direction 2 years earlier. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching the picture for being a (wild) child of its time, speedy narration and a gorgeous Raquel Welch.
Entertaining and amusing Western that tells the story of a thief (Burt
Reynolds is of part Cherokee Indian descent) , his flight into Mexico
and his pursuit by a Black American lawman (Jim Brown) and both of whom
chased by a despotic military governor (Fernando Lamas) and his
hoodlums (Aldo Sambrell , Eric Braeden) . As in 19th century Mexico
appears a half-breed bank robber (Burt Reynolds plays a
native/half-white American and his previous film, Navajo Joe 1966 , he
also played an Indian) , he is Yaqui Joe , an Indian who robs a bank in
order to buy guns for his people who are being savagely repressed by
the government . As the lawman and the outlaw eventually become allies
and team up with a female revolutionary (Raquel Welch) to help save
them from annihilation and to take up the cause of the Indians.
Stirring and exciting Western with thrills , violence , shootouts , a lot of firing squad and plenty of action in which a misfit group formed by Yaqui Joe and a sheriff join up with a female revolutionary and attempt to take money from a bank to buy arms for their oppressed people but all of them are relentlessly pursued by the Mexican Army . It includes spectacular pursuits in which the pursued protagonists cross impressive landscapes , rivers and mountains . Although quite racy in its day for its interracial sex sizzle of Brown and Welch , it's overblown and tame by today's standards . In fact , this film was apparently one of the first movies to feature a sex scene between people of different races . What it lacks in political correctness it makes up for in fits of action . Although this film was shot in Spain , it was filmed by an American studio -20th Century-Fox- with an American director , Tom Gries , producer Marvin Schwartz , and expert Western writer Cliff Huffaker , being based on the novel written by Robert MacLeod . Nice acting by Burt Reynolds as a mestizo or half Yaqui Indian who finds himself wanted by an American lawman , adequately played by Jim Brown . Raquel Welch is gorgeous and memorably over-the-top as as the woman who forms a strong axis to Brown . This is one of a number of westerns that Burt Reynolds made during the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s . These include Navajo Joe(1966), Sam Whiskey (1969) and The man who loved Cat Dancing (1973). And gorgeous Raquel Welch giving a mediocre acting ; Raquel Welch and Burt Reynolds fell out whilst making this movie, three years later they both starred in "Fuzz" . Support casting and crew are formed by an European (usually Spanish) cast , all of them ordinaries in Paella/Spaghetti Western shot in Spain such as : Aldo Sambrell , Alberto Dalbes , Sancho Gracia , Jose Manuel Martin , Charly Bravo , Rafael Albaicín and the beauty Soledad Miranda as a prostitute .
Superbly photographed by Cecilio Paniagua on spectacular outdoors from Almeria -though the train wreck station shot in Villamanta, Madrid- , including its terrain closely resembles the northeast Mexico/southwest US área and where in the 60s and 70s were filmed uncountable Westerns . The Spanish Cecilio Paniagua was a very good cameraman who photographed several Westerns such as ¨Custer of the West¨ , "Great Treasure Hunt" , and ¨Hunting party¨ , all of them filmed in Almeria . Special mention for the thrilling as well as evocative musical score by maestro Jerry Goldsmith , composed in his peculiar style . The motion picture was professionally directed by Tom Gries though flopped in theatres . This movie was filmed in the same Almeria, Spain, region as director Tom Gries' TV series The Rat Patrol (1966), both starred Eric Braeden . Traveling to Hollywood in 1947, Gries took a job as a talent agent, and eventually went to work for producer/director Stanley Kramer . He entered the production end of the business as an associate producer, then graduated to writing and producing documentaries. Tom switched to television, where he received an Emmy in 1963 for directing the series East Side/West Side (1963) . Tom was an expert director of Western as ¨Breakheart pass¨ , this ¨100 Rifles¨ , and ¨Will Penny¨ that is the best work ever made ; Gries also directed other successes as ¨Breakout¨, ¨The glass house¨ , ¨Helter Skelter¨ and TV series as ¨QBVII¨ , but he also made some real duds . His later output in other genres was routine.
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