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Vera Cruz (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 25 December 1954 (USA)
During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Roland Kibbee (screenplay), James R. Webb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Benjamin Trane
Burt Lancaster ... Joe Erin
Denise Darcel ... Countess Marie Duvarre
Cesar Romero ... Marquis Henri de Labordere
Sara Montiel ... Nina (as Sarita Montiel)
George Macready ... Emperor Maximilian
Jack Elam ... Tex
Ernest Borgnine ... Donnegan
James McCallion ... Little-Bit
Morris Ankrum ... Gen. Ramírez
James Seay ... Abilene
Henry Brandon ... Capt. Danette
Archie Savage ... Ballard
Charles Bronson ... Pittsburgh (as Charles Buchinsky)
Charles Horvath ... Reno
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Storyline

After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico to fight in their revolution for money. The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin and his men, and together they are hired by the Emperor Maximillian and the Marquis Henri de Labordere to escort the Countess Marie Duvarre to the harbor of Vera Cruz. Ben and Erin find that the stagecoach is transporting three million U.S. dollars in gold hidden below the seat, and they scheme to steal it. Along their journey, betrayals and incidents happen changing their initial intentions. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Giants Battle In The Biggest Spectacle Of Them All!

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

25 December 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Вера Круз See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,000,000, 31 December 1954

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,000,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First film released in the SuperScope widescreen process. Shot at a conventional 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the film was cropped to 2:1 in post-production, given a CinemaScope-compatible (2x) squeeze, and blown up to normal frame height. SuperScope was designed to achieve anamorphic prints from standard flat 35mm negatives. The MGM DVD approximates the 2:1 release print aspect ratio. SuperScope was the forerunner of "Super 35". See more »

Goofs

Around 01:17:15, Ballard is between Pittsburgh and another man. Two shots later, he's alone on the right. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Benjamin Trane: Howdy. You an American?
Joe Erin: You interested in me or the horses?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: As the American Civil War ended, another war was just beginning. The Mexican people were struggling to rid themselves of their foreign Emperor - - - Maximilian. Into this fight rode a handful of Americans - - - ex-soldiers, adventurers, criminals-- all bent on gain. They drifted South in small groups - - AND SOME CAME ALONE- See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure an 'A' rating. All cuts were waived in 1998 when the film was granted an 'PG' certificate for home video. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Full Metal Jacket (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Vera Cruz
Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The first 20 minutes or so . . .
7 February 2002 | by rmahaney4See all my reviews

The first 20 minutes of Vera Cruz are excellent, starting with the great score by Friedhofer and the meeting of Cooper's and Lancaster's characters. The most striking scene is in a plaza, with a great gunfight followed with the meetings with the main players in the plot including a couple of hundred revolutionaries and Cesar Romero, whose character serves the Emperor of Mexico, Maximillian. This initial sequence of scenes are very well done, have a tough and cynical feel about them, and seem a little ahead of their time. After this point the movie becomes a more typical 1950s big budget adventure film. It remains entertaining, but looses the sharpness that these first striking minutes had. Only at the very end of the film does it regain it's edge. It could have been an excellent film, but is still entertaining and well worth watching.

Cooper and Lancaster are good as always and their usual on-screen personas compliment each other well.

The Mexican locations were great.

This film was very influential on the Italian filmmakers that would go on to create the spaghetti western. Stylistically the influence can be scene most in plaza scene. The plot filled with multiple double crosses and betrayals will also seem familiar to fans of the eurowestern, as does the primary character motivation -- greed. Also, this film may explain the large number of SW that involve Maximillian, Jaurez, and soldiers of fortune manipulating them.


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