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They Came to Cordura
They Came to Cordura
Actors: Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, Richard Conte
Director: Robert Rossen
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Military & War
NR     2004     2hr 3min

Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 09/22/2009 Run time: 123 minutes Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, Richard Conte
Director: Robert Rossen
Creators: Burnett Guffey, Robert Rossen, William A. Lyon, William Goetz, Glendon Swarthout, Ivan Moffat
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/27/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Japanese

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Movie Reviews

A Butchered Masterpiece
John | NYC | 06/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"THEY CAME TO CORDURA was originally 148 minutes. It was hailed by critics who saw this version, including the NY Times, which gave it a rave. But Columbia grew nervous, it was dark, grim, downbeat. The army looked like it was filled with cowards, rapists, murderers. Columbia took the film away from director Robert Rossen and lopped off 35 minutes, then added back in several minutes of exposition. The resulting film is maddening. At times brilliant, at times clumsy; it's pacing is awkward, the editing downright amateurish. The minions at Comubia hadn't a clue what they were doing whgen they butchered and re-editied the film. Even so, it is still a fine, fine film. The writing is spot-on, some of the dialogue scalding; the acting is flawless, and many of the sequences take your breath away. An extraordinary score. And Cooper is heart-breaking in his depiction of the coward. The scene between him and Rita Hayworth, in which he tells of cowering in the ditch, is screen acting of the highest order. Rossen was in the process of buying the film back from Columbia to return it to his original vision when he died. Perhaps it will yet happen. But not by Columbia, which has dropped this DVD onto the market with no extras and no attempt to restore it. Even so, CORDURA is well worth the purchase. Truly, a butchered masterpiece."
At What Price Courage
hille2000 | USA | 10/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 1959 film from director Robert Rossen sets out to define the meaning of courage. Set in 1916 Mexico during General Pershing's Expedition to capture Poncho Villa in revenge for his raid into New Mexico, the US Army sets out to find soldiers worthy of the Medal of Honor. Ironically, a branded coward Gary Cooper is given the task. This is a slow and deliberate movie. It is noteworthy not for its script but for its depth of well constructed characters and their motivations. By the end of the film you may ask yourself if cowards and heroes walk the same thin line. Van Heflin gives a standout performance and he is the real catalist behind Cooper's internal struggle that manifests itself visually on the screen."
"I have a chance to put my hand on the bare heart of heroism
Mary Whipple | New England | 10/09/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"(3.5 stars) Directed by Robert Rossen in 1959, this exploration of the nature of courage has limited appeal in the present day. Maj. Thomas Thorn (Gary Cooper) is assigned to find five men who deserve the Congressional Medal of Honor and accompany them back from Mexico, where they are fighting Pancho Villa in 1916. The objective of the army is to make heroes of these men so they can serve as examples to other soldiers during the expected US involvement in World War I. Thorn's selection as the man to accompany these five soldiers is ironic--he is regarded as a coward for his behavior when Villa's men attacked US troops in Columbus, New Mexico.

On the long trek back from Mexico to Cordura, the true nature of each of the "heroes" is revealed. Thorn has been interviewing each of these men for the citations he plans to write for them, and he is especially interested in what the men were thinking when they performed so bravely, hoping to discover what is the secret of their courage. Adelaide Geary (Rita Hayworth), an American living on a ranch in Mexico, has had her ranch occupied by Villa's troops, and she is arrested by Thorn to be returned to the US, along with the medal winners. The life-threatening journey tests each hero once again, and Thorn once again agonizes over the nature of courage.

With an all-star cast, including Gary Cooper, Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, Richard Conte, Michael Callan, Dick York, and Rita Hayworth, the film offers a close-up look at many stars from the past, but acting styles and viewer expectations have changed, and Cooper, who won a Laurel Award as Best Actor for his role here, is so expressionless that he sounds, in places, as if he is haltingly reading the script, not acting. With the journey taking place across scrubland, usually under the hot sun, the focus is on the actors, their conversations, pent-up emotions, fights, and resentments of Thorn.

Unfortunately, the dialogue, regardless of its subject matter, tends to be stilted and predictable, rather than realistic, and Thorn's constant pre-occupation with the nature of courage leads to a very "talky" film. Ultimately, all the characters come to new realizations, but by the time they do, many viewers will have exhausted their patience with the pace of this self-conscious film. n Mary Whipple
Watchable adventure epic, not so arresting as was intended b
Roberto Frangie | Leon, Gto. Mexico | 11/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Due to showing cowardice in battle, Major Thomas Thorn (Gary Cooper) has been assigned the degrading task of "Awards Officer" to the Mexican expedition of 1916 against Pancho Villa...

Thorn witnesses the U.S. Army attack on a ranch house which results in an American victory, and selects five men as candidates for the Congressional Medal of Honor...

Since Washington wants heroes in a hurry, for a World War I recruiting campaign, Thorn has to guide these men through the perilous border country to the 'out of danger' base at Cordura...

Since Villa's men were given shelter in the ranch house of the beautiful Adelaide Geary (Rita Hayworth), she is accused of treason and is forced to accompany the men on their difficult journey...

Before the seven get to the Texas border town, the five heroes are given ample time to show their true colors (cheats, thieves, rapists and murderers) and Cooper (always under great danger) discovers, far from crossfire, their true characters... Thorn also discovers that he has respect and affection for his prisoner...

Rita Hayworth seems, on screen, to be a woman who has seen too much, lived too hard... There are circles under her eyes now, and an indefinable sadness about her presence... But she remains more delicious than ever... She had been the greatest girl of them all, a living summary of all our sexy, dreamy ideals... Now she is a reminder, for an aging generation, of the generous visions of youth... In "They Came to Cordura," Rita gives the best performance of her career as the shady lady surrounded by six men, substituting acting for sex and glamor...