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Valdez Is Coming
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A Mexican-American lawman gets even with a Southwestern rancher for leaving him to die in the desert.
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
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
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.
ps I guess we'll have to wait for Crieterion Collections to do it right.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always wanted to see this old movie. It's in great condition. Thanks.Published 24 days ago by PollyT
I love this obscure and vivid tale of personal fulfillment found in righteous anger. Weird coloration, both in the vhs version and less so in the DVD version. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jonathan B. Gordon
some of Burt's best work. Great story very well acted and directed. Watch for the Segundo character. If you have never seen this movie you owe it to yourself.Published 1 month ago by Robert K.