Rick Galati | Lake St. Louis, Missouri United States | 04/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Its funny how (to me) lines from movies sometimes bubble to the surface of consciousness from out of nowhere. I hadn't thought about "Alvarez Kelly" in years. Recently, in my minds's eye, I recalled the image of an eye-patched Confederate leader named Col.Tom Rossiter,(Richard Widmark) silently and solemnly inquire "Did you please her.....Kelly"? That simple line was so fraught with innuendo and suggestion that it always stuck with me. So on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I popped a widescreen version of "Alvarez Kelly" into my DVD and sat back to review and enjoy this 1966 Civil War oater (or should I say "beefer")? It was a decent ride. Alvarez Kelly (William Holden) enjoys pursuing the finer things in life, his earthly habits subsidized in part by trading as a cattle speculator or war profiteer depending upon your point of view. In this capacity, he has no particular loyalty to the North or the South. However, and as the opening credits point out, all armies in all times require food as well as armaments to prevail. As the Yankees and the Confederates fight for control over Kelly's 2500 head of cattle, he is unwillingly forced to provide his services to the boys in Gray. This fact in no way serves to curb his rather prodigious libido, and he continues the shameless pursuit of any woman who has the slightest physical beauty. Released in the mid-Sixties, Bond mania was in full swing and I would argue that this film was influenced by and shared some obvious similarities in attitude and tone with agent 007. Anyway, enter Liz Pickering (Janice Rule), the shapely but long suffering intended of Rossiter, a physically diminished yet gallant and honorable leader of the Southern cause. Liz is instantly drawn to Kelly's virility and earthly ways and inevitably, favors are shared. Her rather brief on screen appearance only serves to provide a convienient source of personal friction between Rossiter and Kelly. Inevitably though, the war intrudes and a battle for control of the cattle looms. Kelly, awarded with a battlefield commission takes charge of a desperate situation in his own unique way. The cinematography of this film is crisp. The strong performances by Holden and Widmark really play off each other well. All in all, this Western is elevated a notch or two above the average because of Edward Dmytryk's solid direction, an acceptable musical score although they could have lost the hokey song at the beginning, decent photography, good character actors, an interesting premise and manages to deliver all this in under two hours. Given contemporary standards, I can't help but wonder how Hollywood would handle a randy character like Kelly today."
An Entertaining Civil War Film
gobirds2 | New England | 03/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good American Civil War adventure film full of bravado and action. William Holden and an one-eyed Richard Widmark turn in credible performances as reluctant partners in a raid for Union cattle. It also features Janice Rule, a foppish Patrick O'Neal and a bawdy Victoria Shaw. There are some good skirmish sequences and a plot containing some witty dialogue. Some of the plantation sequence is a little reminiscent of John Ford's "The Horse Soldiers" also with Holden. It contains an adequate score composed by Johnny Green of "Raintree County" distinction and beautiful photography by Joseph MacDonald. The stalwart Edward Dmytryk leisurely directed it for pure cinematic enjoyment. The DVD widescreen images are as crisp as ever."
Fantastic Perfomances from William Holden & Richard Widmark!
Gus Mauro | Brandon,mb | 06/27/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an explosive civil war western that packs in a lot of story and character delvopment. Willam Holden stars as Alvarez Kelly a Mexican/Irish cattleman who provides beef for the union army and does not care who wins the war as long as he gets his money and enjoys a peaceful life. But things change quickly when Col. Tom Russleter(Widmark)kidnaps Kelly and inprisons Him. In one of the most memorable scenes in the film Russleter Shoots off Kelly's little finger to persuade him to help out with the confederate army, and if he doesn't he'll shoot off his remaininng fingers. Kelly relucteny agrees but gets back at Russletter by getting his girlfriend to leave him. Another memorable scene in the film was the heard of cattle charging through the Union Army's brigade, With Kelly & Russelter at the helm and by the end of the film both men end up having respect for one another. Along with "THE WILD BUNCH" AND "BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID" "ALVAREZ KELLY" is a classic Western film and may not be best remembered as the other two but it still packs in the same excitement and Story and it's a great film to watch!"
So Cool !!!!
L Gontzes | 05/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is exciting movie I think ! I watched this movie 15 years ago and I impressed too much in that time. In civil war Richard widmark find cow and take them to south. This movie shows another side of civil war. If you see this movie you can feel fresh things !!!!!"
A movie worth watching
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 03/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely a good Civil War Western, Alvarez Kelly, brings to the screen the story of an American cattle rancher from Mexico who has been hired to deliver a herd of steers to Union troops taking part in military operations during the late stages of the American Civil War. Things get a bit complicated when the Bluebellies decide that they want the livestock sent to General Grant's army (which is laying siege to Richmond) deep in Grayback territory, instead of the pre-arranged rendezvous point. The cast carry out their performances very well, though neither the actor, William Holden, nor his character, Alvarez Kelly, are all that wonderful. Moreover, the title for the movie is not really that great, and the dialogues could have been better too. Nevertheless, the plot, the setting, the battles and the costumes are all excellent. Alvarez Kelly brings to life the American Civil War and those desperate moments before the fall of Richmond and the collapse of the Confederacy. For other wonderful Westerns I would strongly recommend The Outlaw Josey Wales, Major Dundee and The Undefeated. "