Movie Quest: #218 - Vera Cruz
Right from the get-go you can see what an influence this film must’ve had on spaghetti westerns. The nearly always great Gary Cooper is an ex-Confederate soldier who migrates down to Mexico in order to soldier-of-fortune his way into some loot. Burt Lancaster is the grinning villain in black. He’s a legend in ruthlessness. They con, rob, and outwit each other in a constant game of “anything you can do, I can do better” until they decide to join forces in an attempt to steal gold that belongs to the chaotic Mexican state during the Mexican Revolution. Though Cooper and Lancaster are on the same team, they continue to position themselves into beating the other to the gold. The movie doesn’t shy away from portraying all of the characters just as they are: ruthless con men with no loyalties. It becomes more and more entertaining to see the alliances constantly shift resulting in a swirling cyclone of riveting characters. As with every other film made in the 50s, 60s, and 70s Ernest Borgnine and Charles Bronson round out the supporting cast. This is a neat movie.