John Wayne: American Hero, Hollywood Legend

Overview

Michael Curtiz's The Comancheros was a deceptively complex movie -- so enjoyable, that it masked some of the best character development seen in a John Wayne vehicle that was not directed by John Ford or Howard Hawks, and so well made that it got by with some of the most violent action seen in a major studio release of the era. It also bridged the gap between Ford's The Searchers and the upbeat buddy movies of the late '60s and '70s The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc.. It's 1843 in the Republic of ...
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Overview

Michael Curtiz's The Comancheros was a deceptively complex movie -- so enjoyable, that it masked some of the best character development seen in a John Wayne vehicle that was not directed by John Ford or Howard Hawks, and so well made that it got by with some of the most violent action seen in a major studio release of the era. It also bridged the gap between Ford's The Searchers and the upbeat buddy movies of the late '60s and '70s The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, etc.. It's 1843 in the Republic of Texas, and Jake Cutter John Wayne is a two-fisted Texas Ranger who runs across a gang of white renegades, called the Comancheros, who are trading guns and other contraband with marauding Comanches from a secret hideout in Mexico. Substituting for a repentant gun-runner, he goes undercover as a partner with Crow Lee Marvin, a vicious half-breed who is a contact man with the Comancheros and knows the whereabouts of their hideout in Mexico. But Crow manages to get himself killed, and Cutter is forced to throw in with Paul Regret Stuart Whitman, a bystander who also happens to be an itinerant gambler wanted for killing a man in a duel in New Orleans, to complete his mission. It turns out that Regret is a more decent man than most, and he and Cutter, despite some different outlooks on right and wrong, take a liking to each other. Their quest eventually takes them south of the border, where they find the Comancheros and their leader, Graile Nehemiah Persoff, a bitter, brilliant cripple -- think of The Sea Wolf's Wolf Larsen in a wheelchair -- who has established a landlocked pirate society, and his daughter Pilar Ina Balin. The only thing that keeps Cutter and Regret alive when they enter the camp is that Pilar and Regret have a history, and she still has feelings for him, enough so that she won't tell what she knows about Cutter and who he is. The two men must play on Graile's greed and Pilar's love in the explosive surroundings of the Comancheros' camp, while figuring out a way to stay alive long enough to get word to the rangers about where they are -- and to survive the attack that must inevitably follow. Director Michael Curtiz was ill for part of the shoot, and Wayne took up the slack, but The Comancheros displays some of the same freewheeling charm and deep passions that informed classic films of his such as Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and The Sea Hawk. Wayne and Whitman between them manage to evoke some of the rambunctiousness of Errol Flynn, and when Balin one of the sexiest leading ladies ever to grace a John Wayne movie arrives onscreen, the testosterone level shoots up even higher and the sexual sparks fly. The film's 105 minutes go by very fast, and this is a movie whose ending comes almost too soon. Curtiz's final film is one that leaves audiences with a smile, but also wanting more, which was a pretty good way to go out. John Wayne's daughter, Aissa Wayne who subsequently went into a law career appears in a small role.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2003
  • UPC: 024543078920
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Cinemascope (2.35:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Surround
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 5:47:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 59,917

Scene Index

Side #1 -- The Comancheros
1. The Duel/Main Titles
2. Lies and Regrets
3. Texas Ranging
4. Saved by the Law
5. A New Partner
6. Games of Chance
7. The Old Days
8. Unexpected Help
9. The One That Got Away
10. A Nudge for the Judge
11. Undercover Brothers
12. Leader of the Pack
13. Beautiful Surprise
14. An Escape Plan
15. Texas' Finest
Side #2 -- The Undefeated
1. The War's Over
2. Main Titles
3. 2000 Miles to Go
4. The Carpetbaggers
5. Bubba & Charlotte
6. Heading West
7. Goodbye, Old Lady
8. Getting Organized
9. The Horsemen
10. Maximillian's Offer
11. Race to the River
12. Take 'Em to Mexico
13. Two Trails
14. Dinner With the Langdons
15. Bandits
16. Under Attack
17. The Fourth of July Party
18. The Big Fight
19. Dead Escorts
20. Falling in Love
21. Journey's End
22. Prisoners of the Revolution
23. Charlotte's Protector
24. Langdon's Plea
25. Facing the French
26. Late for an Execution
27. Going Back
28. End Titles
Side #3 -- North to Alaska
1. Main Titles
2. Hitting It Big
3. The Bar Brawl
4. Honest Frankie Canon
5. Off to Seattle
6. Sam's Old Friend
7. A Surprise in Seattle
8. A Substitute for Jenny
9. The Loggers' Picnic
10. Angel's Hero
11. The Pole Climbing Contest
12. To a Fine Lady
13. Angel's Disappointment
14. Importing Trouble
15. Going Ashore
16. A Few Changes
17. Former Friends
18. Going With Sam
19. Back Home
20. If You Knew
21. Dinner With Angel
22. Claim Jumpers
23. Bad News
24. Dealing With Billy
25. Someone for George
26. Working Things Out
27. Sam's Girl
28. Two Jealous Guys
29. Martial Law
30. The Commissioner
31. Billy's Offer
32. Where's Boggs?
33. The Louse Hunt
34. Sing Along With Boggs
35. Mayhem in the Mud
36. A Real Gold Mine
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Menu

Side #1 -- The Comancheros
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English 4.0 Surround
      Languages: French Mono
      Languages: Spanish Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Spanish Trailer
      MovieTone News: Claude King and Tillman Franks Receive Award for "The Comancheros"
      Fox Flix: North to Alaska
      Fox Flix: The Undefeated
Side #2 -- The Undefeated
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English
      Languages: French
      Languages: Spanish
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Spanish Trailer
      Portuguese Trailer
      Fox Flix: The Comancheros
      Fox Flix: North to Alaska
Side #3 -- North to Alaska
   Play
   Language Selection
      Languages: English 4.0 Dolby Surround
      Languages: French
      Languages: Spanish
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      MovieTone News: "North to Alaska" Premiere Besieged by B'way Throngs
      Fox Flix: The Comancheros
      Fox Flix: The Undefeated
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