Vintage Icons • Movies

“Vera Cruz”

23 April, 2014

Year: 1954.

Director: Robert Aldrich.


Gary Cooper (Benjamin Trane).

Burt Lancaster (JoeErin).

Denise Darcel (Condesa Marie Duvarre).

Cesar Romero (Marques Henri de Labordere).

Sara Montiel (Nina).

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  • Gary Cooper always complained of working with Sara Montiel. He ensured she smelt badly and that she never washed her hair.
  • It was the first movie in Superscope format, the predecesor of Super 35’.
  • Sometimes this film has been known as “the first spaghetti western” due to the influence of Italian directors like Sergio Leone.
  • Clark Gable recommended to Gary Cooper not to work with Burt Lancaster. “That boy will eclipse you on screen”, he said. Ironically, Gable did work with Lancaster later in another movie.
  • Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson decided to go buying tobaco when they where acting, which meant they had to saddle the horse and go dressed and armed like that to the closest city. On the way a truck full of federal officers thought they were bandits and they hold them prisoners.
  • The visual effects team used too much explosives to make a bridge blow, so many that some pieces reached Gary Cooper who was hurt.
  • Although the Emperor Maximiliano was represented with an age of 54 years old in the movie, he died at 34 for real.

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I’m not the kind of western fans, but when I got the list of vintage movies to review I thought I couldn’t leave aside our Spanish most well-known and international actres before Penelope Cruz.

Sara Montiel is very beautiful and really shine in her role as a young Mexican who lives thanks to little robberies. With no doubt, Sara eclipses the rest of the women stars of the movie and becomes in the true main woman character of Vera Cruz.

The film is really entertaining. I was surprised of Gary Cooper not doing a role as the good boy, although he isn’t the bad bad boy either. To be honest, I liked him better than Lancaster and he is the perfect half for Sara Montiel.

Lancaster, with his usual cynical and sarcastic style plays the role of a very common thug.

Back in the time of the release, it was a very violent movie (over the average). I’m sure it’s an icon for all western genre lovers.

Official Trailer:

By the way, I’ve been purchasing all movies I’ve been talking about along this blog, although you can find this entire one on YouTube. Here’s the link in case someone wants to see our Sara Montiel in her earlier years on cinema.



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