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Valdez Is Coming
     

Valdez Is Coming

Director: Edwin Sherin,

Cast: Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Jon Cypher

 

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Adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel, Valdez is Coming stars Burt Lancaster in the title role. A scrupulously honest Mexican-American marshal, Bob Valdez is double-crossed and humiliated by wealthy, unscrupulous rancher Jon Cypher. Since Cypher has the law on his side, Valdez is obliged to mete out his own justice. He kidnaps Cypher's mistress Susan Clark to

Overview

Adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel, Valdez is Coming stars Burt Lancaster in the title role. A scrupulously honest Mexican-American marshal, Bob Valdez is double-crossed and humiliated by wealthy, unscrupulous rancher Jon Cypher. Since Cypher has the law on his side, Valdez is obliged to mete out his own justice. He kidnaps Cypher's mistress Susan Clark to force the rancher's hand. At first, Cypher is able to rally a group of tough hombres against Valdez, but one by one they side with the marshal. Director Edwin Sherin, who'd helmed the Broadway production of The Great White Hope, makes several rather anachronistic points regarding the film's racial issues; on the other hand, Valdez is Coming is one of the most-authentic looking westerns ever made-right down to the deglamorization of Susan Clark, who in a 1950s film might have looked as though she'd just visited a frontier branch of Max Factor.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Labelled by many as a "revenge Western," Valdez is Coming is actually something a little different. It's true that Burt Lancaster's character doggedly pursues Jon Cypher's villain in order to extract payment, but Lancaster is really seeking justice, not revenge. Were it the former, he would singlemindedly and cold-bloodedly dispose of anything that stands in his way; here, he fights when it is demanded but he also tries to avoid this, and the payment he seeks is not the man's life but the fulfillment of a commitment. It's this difference that sets Valdez slightly above many other blood-soaked Westerns of the time and that gives the film a special flavor. Valdez is also extremely fortunate to have Lancaster on hand. The star brings with him an incredible persona, a dynamic personality that screams both integrity and danger; Lancaster is an honorable man but one that will be nobody's fool, and these qualities shine through in his portrayal. He's also a deft actor, capable of finding some interesting nuances in the character that add layers to the film. But not all of the elements in the film are on the star's level. The script, while it benefits from the integrity of the lead character, makes use of too many Western clichés and the contemporary racial concerns don't quite fit; they feel forced on in some places. More damagingly, Edwin Sherin's direction is flaccid. He composes some beautiful pictures and is clearly concerned with the performances of his cast, but his pacing is poor and the film isn't cinematic enough. Overall, the pros outweigh the cons in Valdez, but the cons do keep it from being an outstanding film.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/23/2011
UPC:
0011891701129
Original Release:
1971
Source:
Tgg Direct
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:31:00

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