The Comancheros


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 ...
See more details below
Blu-ray (Wide Screen / Repackaged)
$12.59 price
(Save 16%)$14.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Blu-ray)
  • All (9) from $9.62   
  • New (7) from $9.62   
  • Used (2) from $21.76   


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.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

Audio Commentary by Stuart Whitman, Nehemiah Persoff, Michael Ansara and Patrick Wayne; ; The Comancheros and the Battle for the American Southwest; ; The Duke at Fox - A Two-Part Documentary; Vintage Comancheros Comic Book Gallery; ; A Conversation with Stuart Whitman (Audio Only); ; Fox Movietonews: Claude King and Tillman Franks Receive Award for The Comancheros; ; Theatrical Trailers
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Wheeler Winston Dixon
The Comancheros is Michael Curtiz's last film as a director; from all accounts, he was weak and ill during the filming, although one would never know it from the finished product, which is skillfully directed and bears the unmistakable stamp of Curtiz's professionalism. John Wayne stepped in to direct some scenes when Curtiz faltered, and Cliff Lyons, an excellent stuntman whose career traced back to the silent era, directed the second-unit action sequences, and certainly these contributions added considerably to the film's final cut. The film boasts a particularly interesting cast; aside from Wayne, stars Stuart Whitman and Lee Marvin, as well as veteran character actors Jack Elam, Henry Daniell, and Richard Devon are on hand to liven up the proceedings. The plot is simplicity itself; Wayne plays Texas Ranger Jake Cutter, a role he could stroll through without breaking a sweat, who arrests itinerant gambler Paul Regret (Whitman) as another routine assignment. But Whitman and Wayne soon find they must pool their resources to defeat a band of renegade arms dealers known as the Comancheros, led by Jack Elam at his slimiest. The Comancheros is a deeply formulaic film, designed to keep Wayne in the public eye and his loyal audience members satisfied. None of it makes much sense, but Curtiz directs in his usual hectic style, so that the incidents pile up so quickly that one soon forgets the absurdity of the film's premise. Interestingly, veteran Western director Budd Boetticher was originally slated to direct this film during a particularly down period in the director's life when he was in jail in Mexico during the production of his film Arruza (which was eventually completed after much hardship in 1972). Astoundingly, Boetticher turned the offer down, preferring to remain in jail rather than tackle what he saw as a mediocre project. Michael Curtiz died shortly after production of the film was completed.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2011
  • UPC: 024543771920
  • Original Release: 1961
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Repackaged
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Fran├žais
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 16,643

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Capt. Jake Cutter
Stuart Whitman Paul Regret
Ina Balin Pilar Graile
Nehemiah Persoff Graile
Lee Marvin Tully Crow
Michael Ansara Amelung
Bruce Cabot Maj. Henry
Joan O'Brien Melinda Marshall
Jack Elam Horseface
Edgar Buchanan Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen
Henry Daniell Gireaux
Richard Devon Estevan
Steve Baylor Comanchero
John Dierkes Bill
Roger Mobley Bub Schofield
Bob Steele Pa Schofield
Luisa Triana Spanish Dancer
Iphigenie Castiglioni Josefina
Aissa Wayne Bessie Marshall
Phil Arnold Nervous man
Don Brodie Card dealer
Harry Carey Jr.
Alan Carney Bartender
Dennis Cole
George Lewis Iron Shirt
Tom Hennessy Graile's Bodyguard
Jon Lormer Elderly man on riverboat
Gregg Palmer Duel opponent
Leigh Snowden Hotel Girl
Ralph Volkie Riverboat steward
Patrick Wayne Tobe
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams Ed McBain
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Harold Belfer Choreography
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Marjorie Best Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Clothier Cinematographer
James Edward Grant Screenwriter
Clair Huffaker Screenwriter
Louis Loeffler Editor
Robert Priestley Set Decoration/Design
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
George Sherman Producer
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
Alfred Ybarra Art Director
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously