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:

The renegade adventurer and the reckless colonel ! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both William Holden and director Edward Dmytryk were concerned about the script of the film before production even began. At one point during filming, Holden, who was hung-over and dealing with an unruly horse, became angry and tried shoving the script up the horse's rear, yelling, "That's where it belongs!" See more »

Goofs

Despite the firepower of the Union Cavalry at the bridge, not one steer is seen to fall down dead or wounded. There are fallen cattle seen after the herd has crossed the bridge, but these are obviously live cattle with their legs tied, as can be seen when they struggle to stand up. See more »

Quotes

Alvarez Kelly: Now the main thing to remember is... cattle are like women. Sometimes you have to be firm with them. Sometimes you have to be gentle. And sometimes you have to give them a slap on the rump.
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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
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User Reviews

 
In every war...in every age...the forgotten weapon is food....
16 September 2010 | by hitchcockthelegendSee 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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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 (Pathé)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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