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Barquero (1970)

 -  Western  -  20 June 1970 (Japan)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 651 users  
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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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Travis
...
Remy
...
Mountain Phil
...
Marquette
...
Anna
Marie Gomez ...
Nola
Armando Silvestre ...
Sawyer
John Davis Chandler ...
Fair
Craig Littler ...
Pitney
Ed Bakey ...
Happy
Richard Lapp ...
Poe
Harry Lauter ...
Steele
Brad Weston ...
Driver
Thad Williams ...
Gibson
Armand Alzamora ...
Lopez
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 June 1970 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Haydut avcisi  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Sparr was originally set to direct, but he was killed in a plane crash while scouting locations in Colorado. Gordon Douglas was hired to replace him. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
God Damn Barge Man!
26 October 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Barquero is directed by Gordon Douglas and written by George Schenck. It stars Lee Van Cleef, Warren Oates, Forrest Tucker, Kerwin Matthews and Mariette Hartley. Music is by Dominic Frontiere and cinematography by Gerald Perry Finnerman.

When is a Spaghetti Western not a Spaghetti Western? When it's Barquero is the answer. It has the feel of a Pasta Oater, from the colour photography and musical scoring, to the pungent dialogue delivered in various guises of grizzle and accents, Barquero clearly takes its lead from Europe. Which as it happens is absolutely fine because this is a hugely enjoyable exercise.

"I would give anything in the world to spend the night with you... Except my barge"

Plot basically involves a cat and mouse scenario played out on each side of a river. On one side is a gang of thieves led by Warren Oates' Jake Remy, who after executing a robbery in town are trying to leave the country. On the other side is the townsfolk headed by Cleef's Travis, who is the most important man in the play because he owns the ferry barge that is apparently the only means of crossing the band of water.

"Back east I read books about men taming the wilderness. I dreamed about those men. They weren't like you. They weren't like you, they were statues that people could look up to. The only resemblance you bear to a statue is pigeon droppings"

What unfolds is a twin telling of the character dynamics at work in either side of the camp. Remy is a mercenary bastardo who rules his gang with a rod of aggressive iron, Travis is hard bitten by life and actually doesn't care much for the townsfolk he serves. The two men are battling for supremacy not just of the "barge" situation, but of their psychological well beings. Hostage situations come into play, there's plenty of scowling at each other across the water, some piercing violence and it builds to a grand finale with a battle fit for some viking based epic!

Casting aside the cheese laden dialogue, and it's best just to run with it to fully enjoy the picture, it's a production of some serious quality. With two of the genre's best brooders leading the cast, the acting side of things is in good hands. Backing up Cleef and Oates (both excellent) are Tucker (Travis' comic side-kick but still hard as nails) and Matthews (Remy's voice of reason), and although she's under used, the adorable Hartley hits the right notes for the key female role that tempts and taunts Travis' core masculinity.

The Colorado location photography is gorgeous, the beautiful shimmering landscapes alive in De Luxe Color. Frontiere's (Hang 'Em High/Chisum) score is dynamite, blending Spaghetti style clangs with military percussion, it swells and explodes at all the key points of plotting. Douglas (Rio Conchos) is unfussy in direction, maintaining interest during the talky character expansion scenes. And finally I simply have to mention the sound mix (Robert Miller and Ben Sad), it's tremendous, the thunder of hooves and the crack of gunfire literally splinters the ears, joyously so. I viewed this in HD on UK TCM on my home cinema system, suffice to say if possible I recommend you see it that way as well!

Awash with caricatures and the sort of tongue in cheek scripting that lends it a vibe to not be taken serious, it's clearly not a hidden masterpiece, but this is fascinatingly muscular fun that also looks and sounds tremendous. 7.5/10


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