Re: The last Western you watched?
« Reply #1551 on: November 25, 2007, 12:29:52 PM »
VERA CRUZ (1954) was on the box yesterday. I’d never seen it before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great Mexican scenery, twisty plot, fine performances and a great final shootout. Gary Cooper as the man with honour, and Burt Lancaster magnificently hammy as the mean hombre without a good bone in his body.
(The above is an old bit from me.)
I was reading Mr. Hughs’ old book OUATITIW recently and if I may quote somebody with a bit more to say on this matter …
CONTAINS SPOILERS THO’ …
‘Fifties westerns again influenced Leone, especially Robert Aldrich’s action-filled Mexican revolution western Vera Cruz. Ex-confederate Major Trane (Gary Cooper) and black-clad-but-amiable antihero Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster) are the untrustworthy forerunners of Leone’s bounty-hunting heroes. They too are after the same quarry - a woman’s heart and a cache of gold.’
Of the film’s ‘stylised’ and ‘prolonged death scene’ of Lancaster, he gives an anecdote regarding a spoof in a MAD magazine of 1955 whereby …
‘After the final gundown, heroic Burt Lambaster goes upstairs, gets a wash, gets changed, freshens up and as you’re convinced he won, he falls on his face… dead.’
Blimey. In the film all he does is give a couple of twirls and reholster his gun, but it is fabulously corny. Well worth a look!