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Elvis Presley plays an ex-gunman who has decided to reform. His decision is not well-received by his old gang. They beat him up, and enforce a grisly revenge - they "brand" him, to give him a scar identical to a man WANTED in two countries (Mexico and the USA). The "branding" is, possibly, the most gruesome scene you'll see in a Elvis movie.
This film has a classic Western Plot: Elvis is the representation of the Law - Badman gone good, friend of the Sheriff, and rival for a woman (Ina Balin). Elvis has imprisoned the brother of the Badman (Solomon Sturges, son of Preston). Head Badman Victor French is big brother to the jailed one. Mr. French has a deadly cannon - he says, "Release my brother, or I will blow up your town!" This movie is too rough-around-the-edges to be extraordinary; and, it doesn't tread on much new ground. It does, however, create a world of its own; if you let yourself into this world, you will be entertained for the run of the film. In that way, it's like many westerns - and as good as several "classic" John Wayne films.
Again, this is a rough-around-the-edges film - my vote for the roughest edges are: The background music is too hokey and repetitive; and, I found the Sheriff's wife's betrayal too abrupt to be believable - it is interesting in that it shows the relationship between Elvis and the Sheriff is stronger than the relationship between the Sheriff and his wife; although Elvis' first intent is to meet the Badman's demands by releasing the prisoner, he decides to honor the Sheriff's wishes.
The title song is very good; appropriately, there are no additional songs. The performances are fine - I would taken a little more time creating this film; still, everything about it ranges from adequate to professional. It sounds like an apology (because Elvis Presley made so many awful films), but I enjoyed "Charro!"
******* Charro! (1969) Charles Marquis Warren ~ Elvis Presley, Ina Balin, Victor French
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