VERA CRUZ (1954) 

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Gary Cooper
Burt Lancaster
Denise Darcel
Cesar Romero
Sara Montiel
George Macready
Jack Elam
Ernest Borgnine
Charles Bronson

Robert Aldrich



Time: 94 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Western/Action/Romance

SYNOPSIS: During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

BOTTOM LINE: A rousing tale filled with action, gunfire and betrayal, starring two of Hollywood's most charismatic leading men. Both Cooper and Lancaster play crack marksmen looking to escape their troubles in America to find financial security in Mexico. The film takes place after the Civil War when the Mexican people were facing their own war against the tyranny of the ruling government. Our "heroes" aren't initially concerned with the local fight, just in how they can use it to their own monetary advantage.

More friendly adversaries than buddies, they throw their weapon's expertise to the highest bidder, which just happens to be the current emperor. Their job is to escort Countess Duvarre (Darcel) from Mexico City to Vera Cruz. The reason behind her journey changes their good intentions. They each have their own ideas about what to do with the gold hidden in her carriage. As do the locals, who need the money for their bid at freedom. It's always clear who's going to come out on top – Lancaster's dressed in all black for God's sake – but the ride to the finish line is action-packed and filled with deceit.

Lancaster is sexy and charming as the selfish charmer out only for himself. Cooper's strength and dignity are the perfect counterpoint. An unlikely pairing that brings great energy and intelligence to a fairly simple story. The fact that they filmed on location in Mexico only adds to the realism and grittiness of life on the open plain. A real down and dirty treat for the western lover.

"I don't trust him. He likes people, and you can never count on a man like that."

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