Vera Cruz (1954)

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  • Vera Cruz (1954)

    VERA CRUZ

    DIRECTED BY ROBERT ALDRICH
    PRODUCED BY JAMES HILL/ HAROLD HECHT/ BURT LANCASTER
    FLORA/ HECHT-LANCASTER PRODUCTIONS
    UNITED ARTISTS


    Photo with the courtesy of Gorch

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Gary Cooper- Vera Cruz

    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico
    to fight in their revolution for money
    The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane
    meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin
    and his men, and together they are hired by the
    Emperor Maximillian
    and the Marquis Henri de Labordere to escort the
    Countess Marie Duvarre to the harbor of Vera Cruz.
    Ben and Erin find that the stagecoach
    is transporting US$ 3,000,000.00 in gold hidden below the seat
    and they scheme to steal it. Along their journey, betrayals and incidents
    happen changing their initial intentions.
    Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Full Cast
    Gary Cooper ... Benjamin Trane
    Burt Lancaster ... Joe Erin
    Denise Darcel ... Countess Marie Duvarre
    Cesar Romero ... Marquis Henri de Labordere
    Sara Montiel ... Nina (as Sarita Montiel)
    George Macready ... Emperor Maximillian
    Jack Elam ... Tex
    Ernest Borgnine ... Donnegan
    James McCallion ... Little-Bit
    Morris Ankrum ... Gen. Ramírez
    James Seay ... Abilene
    Henry Brandon ... Capt. Danette
    Archie Savage ... Ballard
    Charles Bronson ... Pittsburgh (as Charles Buchinsky)
    Charles Horvath ... Reno
    Jack Lambert ... Charlie
    Juan García ... Pedro
    Ketty Clavijo ... Night Club Dancer (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Roland Kibbee (screenplay) and
    James R. Webb (screenplay)
    Borden Chase (story)

    Produced
    James Hill .... producer
    Harold Hecht .... co-producer (uncredited)
    Burt Lancaster .... co-producer (uncredited)

    Original Music
    Hugo Friedhofer

    Cinematography
    Ernest Laszlo (photography by)

    Trivia
    Charles Bronson and Ernest Borgnine decided to go for cigarettes during filming. This meant saddling up in costume, side arms and all, and riding to the nearest town. On the way, the pair was waylaid by a truck full of armed Federales who mistook them for bandits and held them at gunpoint.

    The first film to be made in the SuperScope process.

    One of the first major Hollywood films to be made on location in Mexico. Film-making legislation in Mexico meant that a local director had to be involved in the production in some capacity, though he wasn't actually used.

    First film released in the "Superscope" wide screen process. Shot at a conventional 1.37:1 aspect ratio, the film was cropped to 2:1 in post production and then given a Cinemascope compatible (2x) squeeze and blown up to normal frame height. Superscope was designed to acheive anamorphic prints from standard flat 35mm negatives. The MGM dvd approximates the 2:1 release print aspect ratio. Superscope was the fore-runner to "Super 35".

    One of Robert Aldrich's personal favourites of his films, he particularly enjoyed the fact that it had a hero and an anti-hero.

    Produced by Burt Lancaster's own production company for $1.7 million, it went on to become a sizeable hit, grossing over $11 million.

    Burt Lancaster was quite happy to cede top billing to Gary Cooper, knowing that the older actor had more box office pull than he did.

    For a film made in the mid 1950's, this film has quite fast cutting rate. In 90 minutes of action, the film contains about 1130 edits and other transitions. This equates to an average shot length of just under 5 seconds.

    Eli Wallach has said that the Mexican government was so upset about the negative portrayal of Mexicans in the film that they insisted that the making of The Magnificent Seven be monitored by censors.

    This film is sometimes called the "first spaghetti western," due to its reputed influence on the Italian directors such as Sergio Leone who popularized the genre.

    Burt Lancaster recalled that Gary Cooper would object to anything in the script that implied his character was anything other than good, and demand it be changed.

    Clark Gable warned Gary Cooper not to work with Burt Lancaster, saying, "That young guy will blow you off the screen." Ironically, Gable himself later worked with Lancaster in Run Silent Run Deep.

    Gary Cooper was taking so much medication that he was impotent for the duration of filming. He also hated working with Sara Montiel, whom he claimed smelled bad and never washed her hair.

    The Mexican authorities were appalled at the way their citizens were depicted in the film so any subsequent Hollywood productions had to conform to some strict rules. This explains why in The Magnificent Seven, the locals are all wearing pristine white clothes.

    Gary Cooper was badly hurt when he was struck by fragments from a bridge that had been blown up and the special-effects team had used too much explosives.

    Although portrayed by 54-year-old George Macready, the real Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico was only 34 when he died.

    Goofs
    Anachronisms: Joe's saddle gun, a "new, Winchester repeating rifle", is an 1872 model; since the film is set "just after the American Civil War", to be correct, the gun should be a Henry "Yellowboy", circa 1864. (The earlier weapon had no wooden forearm stock and a brass receiver; the rifle Joe carries has a steel receiver and the wooden stock.)

    Revealing mistakes: When the wagon train is ambushed by the Juarezistas in a town, they make a break for it, fanning out and riding over an expansive field. The wagon tracks from previous takes are all visible in the grass.

    Continuity: When Emperor Maximillian is checking out the Winchester, his chest sash has a large golden Mexican eagle which repeatedly disappears and reappears between shots.

    Audio/visual unsynchronized: Joe Erin says "Always did like kids. How about you, General?" to General Ramírez, who replies "Certainly" without opening his mouth.

    Errors in geography: The very first scene was clearly shot in the town of Tepoztlan (State of Morelos), as apparently was a significant portion of the movie. Why the group would then choose to go north through Teotihuacan (past the Pyramids) in order to reach Veracruz (which is located on the East Cost) is beyond me, as it wouldn't make any sense at all. That's the equivalent of going from Des Moines to Minneapolis in order to reach Chicago.

    Continuity: When the caravan stops overnight and Cooper guards the stagecoach with the gold in it, as Lancaster approaches the stagecoach we can see Cooper looking inside and then he closes the door and starts to turn toward Lancaster. However, the scene immediately cuts to Cooper still looking inside the stagecoach and turns around in surprise to find Lancaster right behind him.

    Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The name of the Mexican city was originally two words, but now it is officially one word: Veracruz. However, at the time of the movie (in the late 1860s) both Vera Cruz and Veracruz were in common use.

    Revealing mistakes: The French lancers are using what appear to be disguised Model 1904 U.S. Army MaClellan saddles.

    Anachronisms: During the rifle marksmanship display at Maximillians ball, they use Pittsburghs rifle, a winchester 1894 which did not exist in 1866. Also the Americans carry colt SAA pistols not available until 1873.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    Chapultepec, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
    Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
    Estudios Churubusco Azteca, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
    Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico

    For continuity, all discussion
    please post here:-
    Gary Cooper- Vera Cruz

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    The post was edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Vera Cruz (1954)

    Vera Cruz starred Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster,
    and featured Denise Darcel, Sara Montiel, and Cesar Romero.
    It was directed by Robert Aldrich from a story by Borden Chase.
    The film's amoral characters, Mexican setting, and cynical attitude towards violence
    (including a scene where Lancaster's character threatens to murder child hostages)
    was considered shocking at the time, and influenced future Westerns such as
    The Magnificent Seven, The Wild Bunch, and the films of Sergio Leone.

    .

    Considered to be the first spaghetti western,
    Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster were cast brilliantly together.
    Look out also for Jack Elam and a young Charles Bronson.

    User Review
    One of the most influential western of all time,
    8 November 2004 | by joevudal (Sherman Oaks, CA)
    Vera Cruz depicts a Mexico rarely seen on the screen.
    The exchange of harsh words and quips between the top billed stars,
    Gary Cooper & Burt Lancaster throughout the movie is excellent.
    Actors like Charles Bronson, Ernest Borgnine, Cesar Romero and Sara Montiel,
    at the beginning of their career was a solid support to the production.
    Excellent photography, taking in consideration the film is 50 years old.
    Excellent soundtrack, beautiful wardrobe and the hundreds of extras
    in a story that has all the ingredients to keep the vier' attention,
    make this movie one of the best crafted westerns
    .
    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().