28 user 9 critic

Chino (1973)

Valdez il mezzosangue (original title)
A runaway teenager and a mixed-race horse breeder strike an unlikely friendship in the context of common hardships.


Lee Hoffman (novel), Clair Huffaker (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Charles Bronson ... Chino Valdez
Jill Ireland ... Catherine
Marcel Bozzuffi ... Maral
Vincent Van Patten ... Jamie Wagner
Fausto Tozzi ... Cruz
Ettore Manni ... Sheriff
Melissa Chimenti Melissa Chimenti ... Indian
Corrado Gaipa Corrado Gaipa ... Padre
José Nieto ... Mexican (as Jose Nieto)
Diana Lorys ... Indian (as Diana Loris)
Conchita Muñoz Conchita Muñoz ... Mexican (as Conchita Munoz)


Avoided by everyone for being half Native-American, the reclusive horse breeder, Chino Valdez, takes great pride in training his beautiful free-roaming mustangs. Then, unexpectedly, the young teenage runaway, Jamie Wagner, turns up at his door in search of food, shelter, and work, and just like that, an almost father/son relationship commences. However, the death of a young filly will be the harbinger of trouble, as the ruthless local cattle baron, Maral, is bent on eradicating the menace of the unpredictable man. Can Chino keep his horses, his land, and the woman he loves? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They Took His Land... His Horses... His Woman... But... They Couldn't Take Chino!


PG | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


First released in Europe in September 1973; it didn't open in the US until 1976. See more »


In the early bar fight, one of the stuntmen coming at Chino with a chair tosses his head back a good half second before being hit. See more »


Jamie Wagner: I ain't never going to get mixed up with women folk.
Chino Valdez: Well, what a man says and what a man does doesn't always end up the same thing.
See more »


Referenced in Johnny Firecloud (1975) See more »

User Reviews

Great Potential + Wacky Anachronisms= CHINO
13 July 2003 | by curtis-8See all my reviews

"Chino" had such potential. It was directed (partially) by the great John Sturges and its star, Charles Bronson, gives a wonderful performance, exuding the kind of quiet masculine strength that no one in Hollywood has these days. Most of the complaints about the film have to do with its atypically downbeat ending. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that I thought the ending, though viscerally unsatisfying, was intellectually and emotionally appropriate, more along the lines of something you'd read in a novel than see in a pop movie.

But what really goofs the film up is the see-saw realism brought about by being directed by two different men, the ailing Hollywood icon Sturges, and Duilio Coletti, unknown in the states, who may have been even further down the slope of his career in Europe. Formalist Sturges strove for at least the inner-logic of "movie reality." Coletti's work had devolved into the worst of sloppy Eurowesterns.

Parts of the film seem to strive for realism, using natural lighting effects, etc. But as the film progresses, more and more glaring anachronisms pop up, such as perfectly square hay bales, only possible with baling machines. This break with even a third-grader's knowledge of the old west reaches its zenith when a character burns down a house, using a PLASTIC JUG of kerosene. A PLASTIC JUG in the old west! Hard to believe that even a European wouldn't know that there was no plastic in those days. I don't know what the circumstances were behind Sturges either quitting or being fired from the director's chair part-way through the filming of "Chino," but it certainly seems as though the scenes he left missing were shot by Coletti as quickly and with as little thought as possible.

The film is also hobbled a bit by it's international origins. The villian is obviously French while his sister, played by Jill Ireland, is obviously British. Ireland has a brief bit of dialoge explaining this, but it only leaves you scratching your head all the more. Otherwise, "Chino" has many wonderful segments, thoughtful and well-acted.

As a postscript: I wish someone would restore this and other of Bronson's more unusual Euro flicks and make them available on high quality widescreen dvd. The currently available vhs and dvd versions of Chino, Red Sun, Honor Among Theives, Cold Sweat, You Can't Win 'Em All, and etc, all suck bigtime. MGM? Anchor Bay? HELLO?

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Italy | Spain | France | USA



Release Date:

14 September 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wild Horses See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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