This one was broadcasted in the Netherlands last week so i took the opportunity to re-watch the movie as I saw it probable over 25 years ago.
The movie was a bit better than I remembered but I have mixed feelings about the movie.
I think this is mainly because of the Juan character. I do not know why but it is a mix of the actor, dressing and character setting
- He always looks neat and clean throughout the movie. From the very first moment we see him to the last scene. He looks likes he has come from a barber and shower with new clothes in every scene which does not fit him
- He claims throughout the picture he loves his family but in 2 scenes (first dynamite scene and the bank robbery scene) he loses some of is “gang” without showing any emotions. This is shown only at the “grotto” scene
- Probably mentioned before, his accent does not suit him, does not sound Mexican at all. This annoyed me throughout the movie.
Coburn plays a decent role and made the best out of it.
I think other actors with some own insights about this character would have helped the movie a lot. Clint Eastwood made the “man with no name” work because of his thoughts about this character. I think the same about Eli Wallach with “Tuco” and the roles played by Lee van Cleef. Their mannerism and acting style made them work.
I do not see how where camaraderie between John / Juan was based upon. A bit more character building in that sense would have improved the movie IMHO. Now we see 2 people who more or less have been attached to each other due to the revolution that is going on.
There are some very nice scenes in the movie but this one is not my piece of cake. I prefer other Zapata westerns over this one.
Just a side note about Peckinpah influences: when John is on the train with Dr. Villega, I had to think about “Cross of iron” where Steiner (also played by Coburn) telling Stransky where the crosses of iron are growing. But this movie came 6 years after Duck you sucker.