Thursday, Jun 2024
Director: Robert Aldrich
Screenwriters: Roland Kibbee, James Webb, & Borden Chase
Length: 94 mins.
Released: 1953

vera cruz movie posterAn unremarkable western that squanders its star power. Dwarfed by two great Westerns made in 1953, Shane and Hondo (a total of 92 Westerns were made in 1953, ~27% of all the films released by Hollywood that year were Westerns). The film is set in Mexico after the U.S. Civil War. Lancaster and Cooper are mercenaries looking for employment. The concept is sound and worked for other films venturing south of the border (The Wild Bunch 1969). But Burt Lancasters' unceasing toothy grin ruins the film for this viewer. Must he really smile every time someone shoots at him? What is he so damned happy about? A second viewing induced sleep so the movie is placed here amongst the stinkers. Probably an injustice to those who bouy the film; Gary Cooper, Robert Aldrich, and Ernie Borgnine.


  • Gary Cooper....Benjamin Trane
  • Burt Lancaster.... Joe Erin
  • Denise Darcel.... Countess Marie Duvarre
  • Cesar Romero.... Marquis Henri de Labordere
  • Sara Montiel.... Nina
  • George Macready... Emperor Maximillian
  • Jack Elam.... Tex
  • Ernest Borgnine....Donnegan
  • James McCallion.... Little-Bit
  • Morris Ankrum.... Gen. Ramirez
  • James Seay.... Abilene
  • Henry Brandon.... Capt. Danette
  • Archie Savage.... Ballard
  • Charles Bronson.... Pittsburgh
  • Charles Horvath.... Reno
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