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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIRE AND ICE
Robert Aldrich's VERA CRUZ is a movie I watch every two or three years from my childhood on. Dubbed in french, in pan & scan or even in black & white on my first TV set, no matter in what condition I've seen it, the film stayed as a favorite of mine. Now MGM presents it on DVD with a trailer and different dubbings and subtitles as bonus features. Meager...
Published on Oct. 5 2001 by Daniel S.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Before "The Dirty Dozen" there was the Dirty Duo...
Directed by Robert Aldrich pre. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and DIRTY DOZEN, VERA CRUZ is a western which sees the teaming of movie legends Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper as mercenaries in the 1860s Mexican revolution. In a novel twist Benjamin Trane (Cooper) is the good guy and Joe Erin (Lancaster) is the bad guy, but are both drawn together when a gorgeous Countess...
Published on June 1 2003 by BD Ashley


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FIRE AND ICE, Oct. 5 2001
By 
Daniel S. "Daniel" (Geneva, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
Robert Aldrich's VERA CRUZ is a movie I watch every two or three years from my childhood on. Dubbed in french, in pan & scan or even in black & white on my first TV set, no matter in what condition I've seen it, the film stayed as a favorite of mine. Now MGM presents it on DVD with a trailer and different dubbings and subtitles as bonus features. Meager. Furthermore, sound and images are in my opinion no more than average.
Coproduced by Burt Lancaster, VERA CRUZ gives to the actor the opportunity to present an extraordinary performance. Joe Erin is an outlaw with no morals, ready to cheat his friends. He is very fast with his gun and the two man-to-man duels of the movie are scenes worthy to stay in the annals of western movies.
Superb are also the scenes involving Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper, specially the evening at the emperor's residence or the first encounter between both men. I still can hear Lancaster say " Guess ! " with his overwhite teeth to a Gary Cooper asking him which horse belongs to him.
All in all, VERA CRUZ is a must for any movie lover even if the DVD presentation is far from being perfect.
A DVD for your library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A terrific, fun, 'Western-noir', April 10 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
Excellent, fun, dark western-noir. Gary Cooper, and especially Burt Lancaster are terrific. Lots of good plot twists,
double dealing, action sequences, and murky morality in the best Robert Aldrich tradition.

Both men are mercenaries working for the highest bidder in the Mexican revolution, while planning to steal a fortune
in gold from both their employers and from each other.

Not quite powerful enough a to be a great film, but fun enough to be enjoyable even on 2nd viewing.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Before "The Dirty Dozen" there was the Dirty Duo..., June 1 2003
By 
BD Ashley "vidiot_y2k" (Otago, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
Directed by Robert Aldrich pre. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? and DIRTY DOZEN, VERA CRUZ is a western which sees the teaming of movie legends Burt Lancaster and Gary Cooper as mercenaries in the 1860s Mexican revolution. In a novel twist Benjamin Trane (Cooper) is the good guy and Joe Erin (Lancaster) is the bad guy, but are both drawn together when a gorgeous Countess (Denise Darcel) offers them $50,000 to escort her and a fortune in gold to the Emperor's troops in Vera Cruz. Not surprisingly the two men's growing greed and jealousy over the cash and the Countess place them further at odds with each other, which really isn't the best of situations when you're in the middle of a raging war; as well as being pursued by a band of outlaws led by Ernest Borgnine.
VERA CRUZ is a watchable western that coasts a long way on star power but climaxes in an all too predictable HIGH NOON finale (Which in 1954 would actually have been a reasonably innovative wrap-up to spring on audiences of the era). The movie is also notable for an early screen appearance by Charles Bronson, in his final billing under the name "Charles Buchinski" playing a member of Borgnine's gang. An entertaining movie, but there's not a lot here that distinguishes VERA CRUZ from countless other westerns of the day. It's still worth a look.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated western with two top Hollywood stars!, May 10 2002
By 
"weirdo_87" (Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA) - See all my reviews
When lists of the best westerns are drawn up, rarely is "Vera Cruz" included. This is most unfortunate, for this 1954 Robert Aldrich adventure features Hollywood legends Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster at their peaks and is rousing good fun. It is also able to tell a story in less than two hours.
The story is set in Mexico, following the end of the American Civil War. Two men, Joe Erin, a wanted criminal (Lancaster) and Benjamin Trane, a civil war veteran, (Cooper) decide to work for the Emperor Maximillian in a job that involves escorting a woman of the court, Countess Marie Duvarre, to the port of Vera Cruz along with other soldiers. But they are unknowingly escorting something else: A large cache of gold. Everyone involved seems to want that gold for themselves and the journey is full of double crosses and attempts at theft. Lancaster and Cooper's characters get along through most of the film, but it is clear that Joe wants all he can get (As he states, "I'm a pig"). His greediness and double crossing culminates in a climatic shoot-out.
Ben, on the other hand, is a southern gentleman. He is more to himself and is more dignified, treating people with respect by saying "sir" or "mam". Another good example is when Joe, Ben and Emperor Maximillian practice target shooting. All three have excellent aim, yet Joe shoots it seems without aiming, while Ben and the emperor take their time. Cooper's character also is not seemingly too social or outgoing and seems to take his time thinking, while Lancaster blurts things out. This kind of regular guy character was what made actors like Cooper, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda popular with audiences.
If you have yet to see "Vera Cruz", you are in for a big treat at your local video store. Enjoy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Look at Those Teeth!, March 20 2002
By 
Brad Baker (Atherton, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
A greedy tale of gold and treachery in the 1866 Mexico of Emperor Maximilian, "Vera Cruz" was wrapped with all the gloss Technicolor/Superscope-enhanced location scenery you could ask for. "Vera Cruz" was filmed near Cuernavaca, Mexico. Seldom seen and historical Teotihuacan pyramids and the Chapultepec palace are all part of the story. Here, there are no real good guys-everyone is flawed. The violence is raw, especially towards women. 1954's "Vera Cruz" stars 52-year-old Gary Cooper and the physically virile Burt Lancaster. The excellent cast includes Cesar Romero, Jack Elam, Ernest Borgnine, Morris Ankrum, and Charles Bronson. It was directed by Robert Aldrich, now best known for "The Dirty Dozen" in 1967. "Vera Cruz" wrapped filming
in May, 1954, with a bloated budget of [$$]. No matter. United Artists later reported world-wide gross sales of [millions]. This lively new MGM DVD is presented in Widescreen, with 1 Trailer. What's wrong with "Vera Cruz"? Well, you'll find it hard to warm up to these violent, shady characters. But, as a 1950's Western buddy-movie, it'll do just fine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cooper & Lancaster deliver!, April 11 2001
By 
John Dziadecki (Louisville, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster deliver fine contrasting performances as unlikely allies in their quest for fortune. Top notch acting, good story, great character development -- fine entertainment.
"Vera Cruz" is presented on this DVD in its original theatrical format! The widescreen compositions deserve no less. Thank you MGM for preserving and presenting this film on widescreen anamorphic DVD. The image and mono sound of this 1954 are clean, crisp and clear. The color looks like it was shot yesterday.
I bought this DVD because I like both actors' work -- have a look at the Cooper in "High Noon", "Friendly Persuasion" and "The Westerner". And Lancaster in "The Professionals", "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "The Train". Also, well, because I haven't seen a really good contemporary western since "Silverado" and "Tombstone". This fills the box-office void very well.
The Amazon summaries and the other four reviews here are right on target. Leone and Peckinpah MUST have seen this film. Highly recommended!
BTW, western fans will rejoice that several John Wayne classics are slated for release in the next two months, including "Rio Bravo", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", "Horse Soldiers" and "The Sons of Katie Elder". It's about time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Granddaddy of Spaghetti westerns!, Jan. 6 2001
Back in the Sixties, when Sergio Leone revolutionized the Western genre, I watched Vera Cruz on TV and revelled in its modern, anti-hero style. Apparently, a dozen years earlier, someone else was impressed, as it is said that Mr. Leone was a fan of this movie. Just look at the scenery, sets, and locations and you see the influence on future Spaghetti Westerns. If you were to dub the voices and add an Ennio Morricone soundtrack, the mind reels! That the supporting cast includes Ernest(Wild Bunch)Borgnine and Charles(Once Upon a Time in the West)Bronson only adds to its ahead-of-its-time feel.
Gary Cooper is intriguing as the outcast with a conscience trying to control the near psychotic Joe Bass of Lancaster. When a movie has a tight story and perfect casting like this, watching it is like taking a magic carpet ride. Coop always excelled as the hero that the villain seems to be one-up on (see The Westerner). Unlike the superhero Eastwood characters, this is one superstar that makes you feel he's in serious jeopardy. Vera Cruz is one of those movies where the parts add up to create a much greater whole. It is definitely a milestone in the evolution of old-style to modern-style Westerns.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Vera Cruz" has everything!, April 2 2000
By A Customer
First I must confess that I've never been a fan of the Western genre... However "Vera Cruz" simply fascinated me... You see, the first thing I always require of any film is "entertainment". If a film does not hold my attention I consider it a waste even if all the critics in the world have proclaimed it "a masterpiece" and it has won all the industry awards... "Vera Cruz" delivers entertainment but at the same time it challenges you. The relationship of the two main characters, Cooper and Lancaster, keeps you on the edge... You'll love this incarnation of Cooper's silent straight-forward American but Lancaster's performance is mesmerizing...Boy, they don't make actors like these anymore... The rest of the cast is also in top form specially Cesar Romero. The legendary Sara "Sarita" Montiel looks beautiful and does a good job in this her Hollywood debut; unfortunatelly the part is small and the director failed to include a couple of good close-ups of her extraordinary face... As a curiosity you will also see Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson in the beginning of their careers... "Vera Cruz" has everything for everybody and I guess that's what makes it an enduring classic... Don't walk..run to the nearest video store and rent or buy this gem...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Killer Smile, May 23 2001
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This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
Talk about a dichotomy! You have the flamboyant scoundrel Burt Lancaster on one side and the stoic gentleman Gary Cooper on the other. They form a loose allegiance and friendship in French occupied Mexico. And that's the main focus of this film. This movie is just filled with so many cornball theatrics that you just can't help but fall in love with it. And there's a twist or a turn around every corner. That's what makes it so good. Director Robert Aldrich mixes lessons on etiquette with lessons on sharp shooting. Even Emperor Maximilian gets to show off his marksmanship prowess against Cooper and Lancaster in a very entertaining scene! There's enough action, witty dialogue and beautiful location photography (by Ernest Laszlo) to please most movie fans. The large cast includes Cesar Romero, Denise Darcel, George Macready, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson and Jack Elam. The film's greatest asset is Burt Lancaster's smile. I never knew he had so many teeth!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Burt hams it up and Gary sleepwalks, Aug. 6 2001
By 
Herr Neechee "Closer2Truth" (Smyrna, GA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vera Cruz (Widescreen) (DVD)
I can see where another reviewer considers this the original spaghetti western, but I was disappointed overall. The action sequences were not that exciting, the audio was sometimes muddled and left you guessing what they said (Gary especially). Gary looks old and sleepy throughout the movie. I did enjoy the fact that they showed Gary's confederate soldier as more honorable and brave than Burt's yankee character, but overall Burt's bravado was the only exciting thing about the movie. If you liked this one, get Major Dundee, its only on vhs right now, but it is more realistic and has many of the same themes and it was directed by Sam Peckinpaw (sp?).
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Vera Cruz (Widescreen)
Vera Cruz (Widescreen) by Robert Aldrich (DVD - 2003)
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