Bandolero!

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Mace Bishop (James Stewart) masquerades as a hangman in order to save his outlaw brother, Dee (Dean Martin), from the gallows, runs to Mexico chased by Sheriff July Johnson’s (George Kennedy’s) posse and fights against Mexican bandits.

ACTORS : James Stewart, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch

YEAR OF RELEASE :1968

POSTAGE : Free In Australia

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Description

Storyline

Posing as a hangman, Mace Bishop (James Stewart) arrives in town with the intention of freeing a gang of outlaws, including his brother, Dee (Dean Martin), from the gallows. Mace urges his younger brother to give up crime. Sheriff July Johnson (George Kennedy) chases the brothers to Mexico. They join forces, however, against a group of Mexican bandits.

Spoiling a good necktie party

Bandolero starts out as an amiable western. Former Quantrill raider Dean Martin gets caught robbing a bank where Raquel Welch’s husband was killed. He and his gang are sentenced to hang and the town of Valverde Texas even sends for a professional hangman to do it right. Of course Dean’s brother James Stewart hears about it and waylays the hangman and takes his place.

Stewart helps effect an escape for the outlaws minutes before the hanging. And after Dean and his gang get away, Stewart goes and robs the bank that they were unsuccessful in robbing in the first place.

Up to this point Bandolero is one of the funniest westerns I’ve ever seen and had the film stopped right there and been a television special it would have gotten rave reviews.

But Bandolero changes and becomes deadly serious as a posse led by Sheriff George Kennedy and Deputy Andrew Prine chase them across the border and into Bandolero (bandit) country. Mexican bandits who have no use for Americans. These are probably the ancestors of Alfonso Bedoya’s bunch from Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Along the way Stewart and Martin connect and Martin takes Raquel Welch as a hostage.

Bandolero is a good film, but it’s far better in the beginning when it is played for laughs than when it becomes serious. Still I would recommend it to western fans.

An entertaining 100 minutes
 
Without comparing it to any of the acknowledged “greats” or even better westerns any of the stars made, “Bandolero” is a satisfying movie – interesting enough story with a bit of a humorous twist, well-mounted, beautifully shot, and everybody involved does their customary good job. If it drags a bit in some of the campfire scenes, it makes up for it in the action scenes. Must single out Rudy Diaz, who plays the chief Mexican bandit, as making a particularly vivid impression in his few scenes. Oh, I almost forgot, another rousing Jerry Goldsmith score worth owning on its own account. What more can you ask, seeing great guys like Jimmy, Dean, George, Harry Carey & Co., and of course Raquel, going thru long-practiced paces they knew so well by this time?

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