Bandido!

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An arms dealer and a mercenary cross swords during the 1916 Mexican revolution.

ACTORS :  Robert Mitchum, Ursula Thiess, Gilbert Roland

YEAR OF RELEASE : 1956

SHIPPING COST : Australia Free

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Bandido!  American arms dealer Kennedy hopes to make a killing by selling to the “regulares” in the 1916 Mexican revolution. American mercenary Wilson favors the rebel faction headed by Escobar, and they plot to hijack Kennedy’s arms; but Wilson also has his eye on Kennedy’s wife. Raids, counter-raids, and escapes follow in a veritable hail of bullets. The ‘Contraband King” in a blazing war of Revolt!

Possibly the essential Mitchum is to be found in Fleischer’s “Bandido.”

Bandido!  The Mitchum Adventurer combines awareness and intelligence with a drawling, almost sleepy relaxation… Possibly the essential Mitchum is to be found in this standard action movie – Mitchum stands fearlessly on the balcony of ‘Villa Hidalgo’ hotel, with a glass of scotch in his hand, to observe the local war, and lob a few hand grenades at the side which is going to pay him less for his services as a gun-runner…

Mitchum is clearly an adventurer by nature who prefers to make love than war… He does not set out with the intention of fighting in the Mexican civil war… but gets caught up in the struggle of Gilbert Roland and his rebels against the repressive Federales…

Lisa Kennedy, the Thiess character, encounters him soon… and gradually comes to love his nonchalant… laid-back stance… (As usual, Mitchum radiates dignity, intelligence and quiet strength… )

There is an endless battle… followed by a bout of drink… followed by an assault on an ammunition train… followed by a chase across a swamp… followed by a confrontation between rebels and federal troops… and with hundreds of extras running through dust and dodging explosions while nothing much is actually happening…

Gilbert Roland fares better at suggesting the turbulent emotions roiling beneath masculine bravado… His Escobar has a positive flaw: he’s desperate for bullets and explosives…

Robert Mitchum was far from being the man in the street, this movement towards increasing involvement made him the representative of the audience in a way that figures of more obviously heroic stature – Peck or Wayne or Gary Cooper – cannot be. His screen persona differed from theirs in its apparent accessibility, without losing the essentially heroic dimension of capacity for action, an ability to deal with situations as they arise..

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