Legendary screen icons Gary Cooper (High Noon) and Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry) teamup for a magnificent, action-packed western from director Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen) and screenwriters Roland Kibbee and James R. W... more »ebb. With sweeping vistas and larger-than-life heroics,it's a tale as bold and rugged as the characters it so brilliantly depicts. Cooper and Lancaster portray Benjamin Trane and Joe Erin, two daredevil mercenaries who journey to Mexico in search of adventureand cold hard cashduring the 1866 revolution. But they get more than they bargained for when the wealthy and beautiful Countess Duvarre (Denise Darcel) hires them to escort her (and a fortune in gold!) to Emperor Maximilian's fighting forces in Vera Cruz. The trail is fraught with danger, betrayal and murder...and when Ben is swept up in the revolutionaries' fervor, he and Joe find themselves at odds with the Mexican Armyand each other!« less
"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."
A truly underrated western with great cast
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 06/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Vera Cruz is an excellent western that was years ahead of its time, serving as a blueprint for plenty of westerns made years later. The story takes place during the Mexican Revolution after the conclusion of the Civil War. A prologue states that many Americans went south into the country hoping to become rich by prospering off of the revolution. One of these men is Ben Trane, an ex-Confederate officer hoping to earn some money to help out the war-torn south. He teams up with cocky gunfighter, Joe Erin, to help Emperor Maximilian transport a countess to the port of Vera Cruz. Joining them are Erin's gang, a bunch of adventurers, mercenaries, criminals, and hired guns, and a company of French lancers. Ben and Joe find more than they bargained for when they discover the countess wants out and they are also guarding $3 million in gold. This is a great western full of action with plenty of double and triple crosses. What makes it fun is that you never really know what the characters are going to do. Will Ben and Joe steal the gold? Filmed entirely in Mexico, Vera Cruz is beautifully shot and looks great in letterbox. Gary Cooper stars as Benjamin Trane, the ex-Confederate officer who sees an opportunity to make a lot of money. He plays straight man to Burt Lancaster's Joe Erin, the amoral gunfighter who really only looks out for himself. Cooper and Lancaster are great together, with Burt stealing the show much of the time, but Cooper never lets him outshine him. Denise Darcel plays Countess Duvare while Sara Monteil plays pickpocket, Nina. Erin's gang includes Ernest Borgnine as Donegan, Charles Bronson as Pittsburgh, Jack Elam as Tex, James McCallion as Little-Bit, and Archie Savage as Ballad. The movie also stars Cesar Romero, Henry Brandon, George Macready, and Morris Ankrum. The DVD includes the widescreen presentation and a theatrical trailer. For a beautifully shot, underrated western with plenty of twists and turns and a great cast, check out Vera Cruz!"
"Vera Cruz" has everything!
T O'Brien | 04/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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..."
"I'm A Pig"
Deborah F. Brown | Nesbit, Mississippi USA | 01/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone wants the gold and the journey is full of double crosses as Lancaster and Cooper's characters travel through most of the film. I love Joe's(Lancaster)smile and antics as he declares "I'm a pig" and shows us he is out to get it all. His great gun play is fun to watch. The quick draw behind his back and cocky "anyone else stringing with Charlie" line is a classic.
Ben (Cooper) is a dignified southern gentleman treating people with respect. A perfect play on Lancaster's character.
A much overlooked movie that is worthy of a second look and belongs in any western collection."
Vera Cruz-Grossly underrated
weirdo_87 | Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.If you have yet to see "Vera Cruz", you are in for a big treat at your local video store. Enjoy!"