At a river crossing, a stand-off between a gang of outlaws and local townsfolk ensues when the ferry barge operator refuses to ferry the gang across the river.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mountain Phil
Marie Gomez ...
Armando Silvestre ...
Ed Bakey ...
Richard Lapp ...
Brad Weston ...
Thad Williams ...
Armand Alzamora ...


Jake Remy leads a gang of outlaw cutthroats making their escape toward Mexico from a successful robbery. Barring their way is a river--crossable only by means of a ferry barge. The barge operator, Travis, refuses to be bullied into providing transport for the gang and escapes across river with most of the local populace--leaving Remy and his gang behind, desperately seeking a way across. A river-wide stand-off begins between the gang and the townspeople, both groups of which have left people on the wrong side of the river. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 June 1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Barkuero  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Three of the principal actors--Warren Oates, Mariette Hartley and John Davis Chandler--also starred in Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962). See more »


Marquette says that he and Remy are like "complementary angles, adding up to 180 degrees". Complementary angles actually add up to 90 degrees. He meant "supplementary angles". See more »


[first lines]
Boy: Hey mister.
Travis: What?
Boy: You're strong, ain't 'cha?
Travis: Yeah. Suppose so.
Boy: How long did it take ya?
Travis: To do what?
Boy: To build the boat. This man said that you built the boat. How long did it take?
Travis: Quite a while.
Boy: That sure is a great gun there.
See more »


Featured in Warren Oates: Across the Border (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Underrated and forgotten but classic Western
23 April 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Lee Van Cleef had already become an international star late in his career, following his success in the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns, when he starred in "Barquero", made in 1970. The film is clearly influenced by the Spaghetti tradition, most clearly displayed in the drugged-up, psychotic villain, Jake Remy, who bares similarities to the character of Indio in "For a Few Dollars More". However "Barquero" is far superior to the many "Spaghetti" imitators and deserves to stand on its own as a great Western.

The plot is fairly simple, beginning with the massacre and plundering of a peaceful town by Jake Remy and his crew of assorted bandits. Their only escape from capture is to cross the river to safety but the only person who can help them is the Barquero, played by Lee Van Cleef, who refuses, and a violent stand-off ensues.

The film is aided immeasurably by the performance of Warren Oates as Jake Remy, in one of his best roles. Remy makes even most the evil Western characters look saintly in comparison, as he kills and butchers anyone who gets in his path (check out the scene in which he sleeps with a woman and then casually kills her) and his only redeeming feature is his loyalty to his men. This is perhaps the only Western in which the bad guy is given more screen time than the hero and is one of the most complex villains ever seen on screen. Remy has a past which he is haunted by, and is slowly driven mad by his determination to cross the river and by the stubbornness of the Barquero.

The film does not really have a hero, as the only two characters to resemble this are the Barquero and Mountain Phil, a truly bizarre character, excellently played by Forrest Tucker. The Barquero is prepared to help the endangered townsfolk against Remy, but only because he wants to bed one of the women and Mountain Phil does not help out of kindness but more so because he is slightly insane.

"Barquero" was directed by the undistinguished Gordon Douglas, although he did direct the classic 1954 Sci-Fi/horror "Them". Fans of Sam Peckinpah will be pleased to see the villainous pairing of Warren Oates and John Davis Chandler, although Van Cleef fans may be disappointed as he is given little to do, besides having to wear one of the worst shirts ever committed to film.

"Barquero" should be seen by anyone who is serious about Westerns and is required viewing for fans of the great Warren Oates.

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