After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
After the Civil War, ex-Union Colonel John Henry Thomas and ex-Confederate Colonel James Langdon are leading two disparate groups of people through strife-torn Mexico. John Henry and company are bringing horses to the unpopular Mexican government for $35 a head while Langdon is leading a contingent of displaced southerners, who are looking for a new life in Mexico after losing their property to carpetbaggers. The two men are eventually forced to mend their differences in order to fight off both bandits and revolutionaries, as they try to lead their friends and kin to safety.Written by
The stampede scene in the movie started out with 3,000 horses. When the scene was over, they wrangled 2,940 horse in the corral. Cinematographer William H. Clothier said, "Somewhere we lost 60 horses. Those horses took off like goats. We had horses all over Mexico." See more »
Near the end when John Wayne and Rock Hudson deliver the horses to Gen., Rojas, Melissa Newman is standing behind the General on the steps. At the beginning of the scene she is standing in front of Lee Meriwether. In the next shot she is standing in front of Marian McCargo, then it's back to Lee Meriwether, then over to McCargo again. As Lee steps out to talk to James, she's in front of her again, then back to McCargo. Finally she's alone in front of the group. See more »
"The Undefeated" is one of the finest of John Wayne's later westerns, "True Grit" excepted and taking into consideration that "Big Jake" is nothing to slouch at.
"The Undefeated" is the Duke's biggest large-scale epic since "The Alamo" a decade earlier. The battle scenes and the shots of the horse drive are stirring and impressive.
Another thing that separates this film from other post-1965 Wayne westerns (except for "The Cowboys") is the dialog. It's sharp, crisp, witty and often fun.
Here's a good example of that sharp, witty & pointed dialogue: Duke and co-star Rock Hudson had just returned to their camp after being forced to kill a Mexican bandit leader, who, with his gang wanted Rock & Duke's valuables, their horses and their women. When one of the women asks the Duke why he had to kill him, he replied matter of factly, "The conversation sorta dried up." Classic stuff!
And Hugo Montenegro's memorable score is terrific - the best work I personally have heard from him. It helps perpetuate the whole notion that this is indeed an epic western.
I'm amused at some of the wanna-be Rex Reed's here, the "I am a critic so I can't really, actually, truthfully admit that I loved something like this" with their "ho hum, it's passable, I guess"; and their "it's an okay time killer if you've got nothing better to do." How too, too cool. Give me a break, you elitist wanna-be's!
"The Undefeated" is long on length and even longer on entertainment. This is a grand western.
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