The Comancheros (1961)

Big Jake the Adventurer... Paul Regret the Gambler... Pilar the Gypsy beauty... Three With a Past... Destined to Cross and Clash... In a Kingdom of Killers!

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.

Just like your first rattler. One look and you'll know.
After winning a duel with a prominent and connected New Orleans man, gambler Paul Regret (Stuart Whitman) has to flee on account of impending arrest for murder. But he is soon captured by Texas Ranger, Jake Cutter (John Wayne), who sets about returning him to Louisiana to be hanged. However, in spite of their obvious professional differences, the men are forced to come together to fight The Comancheros, renegade white men who smuggle guns and whiskey to the Comanche Indians.
The credentials for The Comancheros are out of the top draw. Directed by Michael Curtiz, starring John Wayne, with support from the likes of Lee Marvin, Henry Daniel, Edgar Buchanan, Ina Balin, Jack Elam & Bruce Cabot. While the score is provided by Elmer Bernstein and cinematography is courtesy of William H. Clothier. It's based on a story by Paul Wellman and although far from being a top tier Duke Wayne Oater, it's an amiable action packed movie that has an old fashioned feel to it.
This was to be Curtiz's last film as he was to pass away shortly afterwards, he was helped on the direction by Wayne who requested to be uncredited for his work, while Cliff Lyons was on hand for some of the action sequences. The acting is solid and the cast seem to be having fun, though a romantic strand between Whitman's Regret & Balin's Pilar is badly developed, but around them all is the Utah & Arizona locale which is beautifully utilised by the talented Clothier.
An entertaining Oater to pass away a Sunday afternoon with. 6/10

20th Century Fox by Michael Curtiz, John Wayne, James Edward Grant, Clair Huffaker, Paul Wellman.
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Western

Keywords: renegade texas ranger gambler


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