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In 1700, news that the king of Spain is dying comes to the Spanish outpost in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For some reason, lovely Princess Lucia, the preferred heir, is in this remote location. To get her back to Europe without running afoul of the Viceroy of Mexico (who backs another heir) will require a guide friendly with the Indians: outlaw El Tigre, whom the princess (initially) despises. The highly hazardous journey is made more so by presence of turncoats in the group...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Running the gauntlet with a princess through intrigues and lands of risky Indians
The bravura of Jack Palance is irresistible in this film. I didn't know he could act so well. He is a Spaniard nicknamed El Tigre, and he is all passion and audacity. The film is full of violent passions, which tend to get the better of the acting men to their own disadvantage. Red Indians are involved also, one of the most enjoyable scenes is when Palance and his royal company are invited for a mutual dinner with the Indians, and the chief gets indiscreet concerning the women, which leads to consequences. There are intrigues also, Palance is supposed to escort the princess Lucia to Spain, the only way from New Mexico there is by California, the hazardous road leads through Indian country, and there is another party of Spanish soldiery who are intent on making the princess never reach Spain. The purpose of her being brought to Spain is that she is supposed to be the next Queen of Spain by marriage, but others want to marry her on the way. So there is a lot of randomity on the way through the tricky mountains with their savage Indians, but the most serious problem turns out to be that the Spaniards are prone to get into fighting each other and not just for the sake of the princess. So there are many strifes and arguments for all different parties of the film to get seriously mixed up with, and it's difficult to see any end to the constantly increasing troubles. Ultimately a Spanish captain appears to know how to handle problematic Spaniards best. But the best part of the film is actually the music - outstandingly romantic and excellent all the way.
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