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Valdez Is Coming

4.4 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A Mexican-American lawman gets even with a Southwestern rancher for leaving him to die in the desert.

Amazon.com

There's nothing like the laconic, confident ease of Burt Lancaster in his gray years, even in the unlikely role of an easy-going Mexican. Bob Valdez is a deputy sheriff in an American frontier town bubbling over in racism. Scapegoated by the community for the death of an innocent victim of a trigger- happy posse and crucified, literally, by the sadistic gunrunner (Jon Cypher) responsible for the tragedy, the quiet lawman takes up arms in a bloody campaign that begins with the mantra: "Tell him Valdez is coming."

Adapted from an Elmore Leonard novel, the script is hardly subtle or original and it never makes the gaping chasm between the search for justice and the bloody reign of terror work in any dramatic terms. It's a rather amorphous morality tale without a solid grounding, but it's dutifully violent, charged with righteous anger, and makes good use of the stark landscape (it was shot in Spain, giving it even more of the flavor of a spaghetti Western). It's a bit embarrassing how Hollywood puts the spotlight on racism by casting a white actor to play the wronged minority, but Lancaster creates a wonderful character in Valdez. With gentle eyes and a tired smile behind a face covered in brown Hollywood makeup, he brings sure-footed authority and calm ruthlessness to a mission of justice by a man wronged one too many times. --Sean Axmaker


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Frank Silvera, Jon Cypher, Richard Jordan
  • Directors: Edwin Sherin
  • Writers: Roland Kibbee, David Rayfiel, Elmore Leonard
  • Producers: Burt Lancaster, Ira Steiner, Roland Kibbee, Sam Manners
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LOL2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,904 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Valdez Is Coming" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 5, 2004
Format: DVD
I saw this film when it was originally released in the early '70s. I bought this DVD because I liked the movie and the book so much. I was very disappointed when I viewed this DVD and
found that it had scenes cut out from the original. One missing scene shows Valdez in his room with his girlfriend preparing his
guns and his shells. He asks her for beef tallow to hold the shot pellets together when the shells are fired. This whole 5 minute scene is missing. There are scenes where Valdez is lying in the dirt of an arid region from his pursuers, rises as they
pass and shoots them. These scenes are also gone. I wrote to the
distributors of this film and complained to them about the heavily cut DVD. They did nothing. Not even a reply. The acting is great in this film. The story is well scripted and follows the book by Elmore Leonard very closely. Too bad they chopped it up. When you purchase this DVD, you are buying a heavily cut up film.
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Format: DVD
This really was a good film when it first came out. It
could also have been a good film as a DVD release. But
it falls short. The reason is that this edition is missing
approximately 20 minutes from the theatrical release. If
you watch the credits, you will see the names of stars who
do not appear in this film. Also, part of the reasoning
behind Valdez leaving his days behind as a peaceful man,
and returning to his glory days as a sharpshooter and scout
are largely lost in the missing minutes. It is a jumpy film
that seems uneven due to the missing minutes. There is no
reason why the film should hsve been cut, but it was. And
as a result is a butchered film. I would not waste money on
it again.
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Format: DVD
I think the publication of this VERSION of "Valdez Is Coming" is a travesty.

The version published by MGM is NOT the original version. It is MISSING over 20 minutes of the original film. AND nowhere can I find a caveat advising potential purchasers of this film concerning this abominable editing.

I have previously stated this opinion on the phone. WHY does AMAZON continue to PEDDLE a bastarized version?

Repeat, repeat and re-peat. Isn't there a law against this sort of insidious editing of the work of a performer- Burt Lancaster, in this case?

BAD BAD BAD

DON'T SPEND YOUR MONEY IF YOU WANT THE REAL THING
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Burt Lancaster sure had it going on in his latter years. In this film he is absolutely perfectly cast as Bob Valdez, an aging Apache fighter whose past is unknown to all around him. He is employed as a part time marshall (who only works the Mexican part of the county) and a shotgun rider for the local stage. Just an agreeable, old Mexican in the eyes of the powers that be; well liked, never causes any trouble. You know, one of the good ones.

Without going into long detail that you can get from the Amazon synopsis, events unfold to reveal the tough, skillful Apache fighter of old. When watching the film, it was thrilling to track the change in reaction to the name "Valdez". In the beginning of the film, the name is a likable joke, said with a grin and a shrug. By the end of the film, men say the name as though some terrible, unknowable force is descending upon them.

There are many good performances in the film, notably by Susan Clarke and Richard Jordan, who plays a giggling psychopath. But it is Lancaster who makes the film. Early in the story, his eyes are gentle and tired, revealing a man that knows the wrongs of the world and has learned to live with them. As the film progresses, his eyes turn to blue steel as he makes the decision to correct at least one small wrong in the world. This film comes from the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name, and the screenwriters wisely left substantial passages of the classic Leonard dialogue intact.

Don't miss this film. Like Lancaster's other Westerns (Ulzana's Raid and Lawman) Valdez is Coming is unjustly missing in most conversations about classic Westerns. It can be mentioned in the same breath with The Searchers or The Wild Bunch.
2 Comments 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I saw the original as said by reviewer #1, no sharps rifle scene: the best scene in the whole movie. Valdez is pursued by the posse, gains high ground shots his rifle 2x before the posse hears the report (gun shot) visually the shot looked like 1500 yds (1 mile), and the 2 shots scored pay dirt. Scott
ps I guess we'll have to wait for Crieterion Collections to do it right.
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Format: VHS Tape
This western morality play sneaks up on you as a leisurely-paced yet gripping tale of strong individual principle against cruel power. It gets more interesting with each scene. Burt Lancaster gives a nicely understated performance as an ineffectual Mexican 'lawman' who decides to revisit his soldierly past when a land baron humiliatingly refuses his request for $100 to compensate a widowed Indian. I found this a tough, believable, unconventional western and would not be surprised it if influenced Clint Eastwood in his classic 'Unforgiven.' 'Valdez is Coming' is almost an anti-western by Hollywood standards. It's not a world you'd want to step into.
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