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Alvarez Kelly (1966)

Approved | | Western | October 1966 (USA)
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During the Civil War, Mexican cattleman Alvarez Kelly supplies the Union with cattle until Confederate Colonel Tom Rossiter's hungry men force Kelly to change his customers.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writer:

Franklin Coen
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Holden ... Alvarez Kelly
Richard Widmark ... Col. Tom Rossiter
Janice Rule ... Liz Pickering
Patrick O'Neal ... Major Albert Stedman
Victoria Shaw ... Charity Warwick
Roger C. Carmel ... Capt. Angus Ferguson
Richard Rust ... Sergeant Hatcher
Arthur Franz ... Capt. Towers
Don 'Red' Barry ... Lt. Farrow (as Donald Barry)
Duke Hobbie ... John Beaurider
Harry Carey Jr. ... Cpl. Peterson
Howard Caine ... McIntyre
Mauritz Hugo ... Ely Harrison
Barry Atwater ... General Kautz (as G. B. Atwater)
Robert Morgan Robert Morgan ... Capt. Williams
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Storyline

Suave former Texan cattleman Alvarez Kelly now living in Mexico has little interest in the Civil War except to make some money. But after a long drive to deliver cattle to the Union he finds himself kidnapped by Confederate Colonel Tom Rossiter. With the hungry troops and civilians surrounded in Richmond by the Union army the Colonel intends, one way or the other, to persuade Kelly to help steal the herd and move it into town. Confederate money has no appeal so the Colonel resorts to other means with unexpected results. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A herd of cattle against a herd of cannon! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Richmond Story See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Sony print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Holden and Richard Widmark became good friends during the production of the film. When Widmark became ill with the flu and was confined to his room, Holden bought him a snare drum because he knew Widmark played the drums. Widmark later remarked, "That four months of being constantly together on a film location was the equivalent of ten or fifteen years of friendship." See more »

Goofs

In the ambush at the bridge the union solider nearest the camera has a '66 Winchester with a wooden fore stock not a Henry as would be normal for the period. See more »

Quotes

Charity Warwick: You disappoint me, Mr. Kelly. After what happened to your home, I should think your sympathies would be with us.
Alvarez Kelly: I have no sympathies, only instincts. And they shy away from losers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: In every war................... In every age.................... The forgotten weapon is.................... Food. For to kill, soldiers must live................... to live, they must eat.................... And a herd of cattle is as vital as a herd of cannon...................

The United States in 1864. See more »

Soundtracks

Alvarez Kelly
Music by Johnny Green (as John Green)
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by The Brothers Four
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In every war...in every age...the forgotten weapon is food....
16 September 2010 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Alvarez Kelly is directed by Edward Dmytryk and stars William Holden & Richard Widmark. It's written by Elliott Arnold & Franklin Coen (Dan Taradash uncredited for tidying it up), the locations for the shoot are Baton Rouge & Clinton, Louisiana, with Joseph MacDonald on photography (Panavision). Story is apparently based on a true US Civil War incident in 1864, it sees Alvarez Kelly (Holden) kidnapped by Confederate's led by Tom Rossiter (Widmark) and forced to drive a herd of Union owned cattle to the hungry Reb troops in Richmond.

Slow moving and blighted by a tepid script, Alvarez Kelly relies on its stars and photography to keep it out the trough. Evidently the makers were going for a social conscious piece based around an historical incident. All that is achieved is an overly talky piece, with periods of inane conversations; that is only briefly lit up by its action packed finale. And even then it can be argued that the "battle for the bridge" and the subsequent "stampede" isn't worth waiting 90 minutes for. The acting is solid, where Holden plays a role he could do in his sleep, and Widmark, sporting an eye patch, convinces as a rough and ready Colonel. Most pleasing is MacDonald's photography, not just for capturing the essence of the barren South in Baton Rouge, but also his choice of lenses for the top notch costuming (take a bow Seth Banks) afforded the ladies of the piece (Janice Rule & Victoria Shaw). There's a lovely print for this film, where in High Definition the colours positively ping from the screen.

Dmytryk (Broken Lance/Warlock), Holden (The Horse Soldiers/The Wild Bunch) & Widmark (The Last Wagon/Cheyenne Autumn) owe Western fans nothing, but this is one from the three guys that's easily forgotten once the end credit rolls. 5/10


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