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Author Topic: Barquero (1970)  (Read 26200 times)
Il Buono
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« on: August 19, 2004, 02:08:03 AM »

Saw this movie standing in the local video store. It has Lee Van Cleef in it.  Any thoughts on this one?

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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2004, 02:37:41 AM »

well, ive heard that its an American Western but in style its a Spaghetti Western. Doesnt sound wholly promising tho its got Warren Oates in it.  Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2004, 07:08:00 AM »

Saw this movie standing in the local video store. It has Lee Van Cleef in it.  Any thoughts on this one?
Saw this one in the cinema on first release. I found it boring as hell. In fact, it was part of a double bill. The second movie was CARRY ON COWBOY. I HATE carry on movies but it was more entertaining than the main feature.  Sad

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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2004, 11:49:42 AM »

I also saw this in theater over 30 years ago; worth noting to compare U.S. style vs. Spaghetti style in that time period.  Barquero and Sabata were twin bill on Encore Cable Tuesday night.

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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2006, 12:10:18 AM »

Finally saw this tonight, its been called the "most Italianate of American Westerns" by some critics (more so than Eastwoods contemporary Hang em High) and I'll have to admit it really starts off like gangbusters, after the unusual opening credits sequence (its shot to resemble an oil painting looking as if the film is being projected upon a canvas). Director was Gordon Douglas who did "Rio Conchos", "Chuka", "Them", "Robin & The Seven Hoods", and "In Like Flint" to name a few. Its initial first half has a way more SW feel to it than "Hang Em' High".

Unfortunately what I watched was a fullscreen pan & scan a bit blurry with the colors seeming abit too strong, recorded off a broadcast so it wasn't quite the best way to watch it.

It was shot on location in Colorado.

We see two groups, a small army of mercenary outlaws and a trio riding in opposite directions with ariver valley in the b.g. One side of the river leads to the Mexican border.

Lee Van Cleef is Travis the Barquero the ferryman, and we see him plying his trade as he pulls a wagon of settlers across, his only weapons are a bowie knife and some sort of longrange rifle of a Sharps or Spencer type. He has one prop from his SW days and that's his "Angel Eyes" tobacco pipe.

We first see (Jack Remy) Oates in bed with a plump sweaty Hispanic whore Layeta, wearing his black hat with a fancy gold hatband in a whore house the "Double Eagle"in the town of Buckskin (very frontier looking with a lot of log cabin buildings), he's looking his sleaziest best.


Whore (fawning) "am I not beautiful senior"?
Jack (looking disgusted) "I need a drink".
Whore "Say it senior."
Jack "you're beautiful...oh are you beautiful".
Whore "why do you wear your sombero"?
Jack " why do you wear your stockings"
Whore "because they are pretty"
Jack "my hat's pretty"

a bit later the whore is splashing perfume on herself while singing...

Whore "do I smell senior'?
Jack "yea you sure do".

The massacre of the town starts and Jack is shooting from the window

A Mexican male breaks into Jacks room and asks "whats going on"

Jack "we're shooting people". and Jack blows him away.
Jack to whore "you live in a lousy neighborhood, you ought to move".

Jack is in his command post for the raid on the town by his small army of misfits. Their goal is the bank and a shipment of Winchester Rifles that an army patrol is escorting. Oates' second in command is a Frenchman Marquette (Kerwin Matthews).

Jack dresses, Layeta asks "Senior wouldn't it be nice to take Layeta with you"
Jack "no"
Layeta "will I see you again"?
Jack "I don't think so" and he shoots her.

The action sequences are pretty good throughout the whole massacre.

There are some very good character actors Forrest Tucker (Mountain Phil  ) puts in an over the top memorable performance as a grizzeled mountian man.
All I remember of Tucker is his TV (F Troop) performance but he's a hoot in this flick too.

Marie Gomez plays Nola (Chiquita from The Professionals) she is Travis's woman. Mariette Hartley plays the unfaithful wife of a "squatter" who offers herself to Travis  (a type of person she loaths but is attracted too) if he'll save her husband, he does, and she does, and Nola doesn't mind.

The film looses steam unfortunately once the confrontation becomes a Mexican standoff at the river, it even quotes FAFDM with a bit where Jack smokes reefer and has a flashback but it just doesn't work. The flash back recalls how he got his hat, not exactly a major plot point, and it feels as if it was stuck in there just to be going with the flow of the late 60's early 70's idea of cool.

The film had potential but ends up loosing its way and feels more like a TV program at the end.

The barge battle was a bit hurried but you have to admit different.

The final duel between Travis & Jack is flat has no dramatic build up at all, almost as if they ran out of time. Score is nothing special.

Van Cleef should have had a bit more screen time he's just not featured enough in my opinion, but he is acting in a very different role, not a cool efficient killer, not and ex outlaw, not a drunk, more of a pioneering business man. And this, come to think of it in hindsight may have been his biggest career screwup, he was typecast for years by Hollywood as an outlaw, then he got that role of a lifetime as Mortimer, he could of, or at least his agent could have really tried to do (as Eastwood did and parlayed the MWNN charater into an American film career) if they had held out. If he had played another strong Mortimer type in a successful American film here who knows how far he may have gone.

This would have been a great Leone or Corbucci or Sollima film if they had the balls to bring an Italian director over and give him a budget, Peckinpah would have been excellent also, too bad, it was a unique story, and they would have made more out of it.

This needs a widecreen transfer.




« Last Edit: February 04, 2006, 10:37:51 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2006, 07:46:05 AM »

Being a LVC completist(well the Euro/SW stuff) this has been on my wanted list for a while.There is the odd full-screen video floating around on Ebay every now and again-and i've been outbid every time,damnit!
Other than that i'm sure Jerksi is selling a collectors version on USA Ebay though i can't remember offhand if this is widescreen!

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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2006, 03:00:27 PM »

Definitely for LVC and Warren Oates fanatics you will not be displeased, in fact more like pleasantly surprized.

Like I said the version I watched was recorded off a cable channel. It needs a good DVD widescreen release, Its one of those LVC roles where he's exploring new characters and directions, he's completely believable as this frontier/wilderness barquero.

It's supposed to take place at or very near the Mexican border somewhere in west Texas (since Remy (Oates)mentions Coahila) probaqbly in the early1870's judging from the Winchesters and Colts, though Mountian Phil and Travis, aka  "Fire Eyes" also have Some type of custom made, breech loading, longrange hunting rifles, and Nola has a .56 five shot Colt revolving rifle that's pretty cool.

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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2006, 09:33:51 PM »

derringdo, sure it was Boetticher? Bud didn't die until 2001 at 85.

Where did hear or read about the original director?

More thoughts on Barquero

Anyway I watched the film again and noticed that there may have been a few cuts.

Mountian Phil first appearence may have been trimmed for all we see is him pulling a bowie knife out of a body, and nothing leading up to it.

Lee Van Cleef & Mariette Hartley's "lust in the dust" sequence must have been trimmed since this scene is not in the film in this version:



Another cut is right before the barge battle, you see Remy's gang building their rafts and it immediately cuts to the two Remy rafts oaring their way across the river towards the barqueros barge.

Then you cut again to the opposite side of the river and all the squatters are hunkered down in the ferry already and waiting. So there must have been a sequence where Travis figuers out what Remys has planned and gets all the squatters into the ferry.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 10:07:29 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2006, 11:14:53 PM »

Quote
"Sexy" publicity stills taken from rehearsals or simply staged for maximum one-shot impact were common enough at that timeframe (see some of Hammer's vampire movies from this timeframe) to where I don't know that the one scene is necessarily per se cut.

True basically in the film they go off together Marriette leading then Mariette un-buttons her blouse, then it cuts to Marriette with her back to us and LVC pulling it down off her shoulders, then cut. The still I found would have been the next logical progression.

Anyway a quick google seacrch brought up these running times:

IMBd USA 115
France 110
Italy 109

Not that any of that actually means anything  Sad

« Last Edit: February 05, 2006, 11:34:26 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2006, 05:34:20 PM »

Just popped it in and from UA logo to last end credit it timmed out 1:48:15 so 108:15, The artwork cover has the full 115 printed. So maybe there are a few trims.

Interesting if it was shot in matte frame, It does look slightly blurry in some LVC/Hartley closeups.

Another crop at the end when Oates gets shot we don't see his body on the dock just his hat brim sticking up, you'd think it was cropped at the bottom.

How can we get a definitive answer on this?

also found an interesting link to Buckskin location for the film.

http://employees.oxy.edu/jerry/buckskin.htm

And some real Montana Missouri River Ferries:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.videomontana.com/images/Cows.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.videomontana.com/stilltiny.html&h=186&w=247&sz=8&tbnid=xFKEWgzT40asnM:&tbnh=79&tbnw=105&hl=en&start=2&prev=/images%3Fq%3DMissouri%2BRiver%2BFerries%2B%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26sa%3DG


« Last Edit: February 06, 2006, 08:01:43 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2006, 06:04:48 PM »

Yea dd, I agree now that you pointed it out about the flashback & the hat, I forgot about Marquette's comment.

Please give us one of your insightful in depth critiques when you get a chance.

When you get done give us your thoughts also about wether or not there seem to be some cuts in it, or some unexplained cropping.

thanks in advance.

 

« Last Edit: March 15, 2006, 09:52:49 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2006, 10:25:35 PM »

Well?    I'm waiting on pins and needles for your in depth analysis....  Cool

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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2006, 03:54:03 PM »

Yea for me its definitely a keeper.

I do agree on Oates he should have continued "as a complete loon so entertainingly far over the top that the audience doesn't care whether he's believable or not. " amen sister! lol.

And I see you concur about the cut sequences, it would be nice to get a restored version of this with some extra features, I can dreem can't I.

And on a side note I think I was confusing this with "Bad Man's River" for all these years, I think I was thinking along the lines that this was the American title, lol.

Did you notice Dominic Frontieri's musical quote from Hang 'em High?

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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2006, 06:25:53 AM »

Quote
The Hang Em High quote is the "Deguello" type bit where Remy marches to the end of the quay to face Travis in that rifle duel, right?

Actually on the Domenic Frontieri quote I was thinking of the very beginning of "Hang 'Em High" he quotes the "Da.... Dum.. Da Da" opening notes of his score. Check it out if you have it.

We need to start a write in campain to Sony, lol they need some prodding,  to release some stuff, along with the remastered DYS, FFAM & AFOD.

On a side note was flipping thru the channels yesterday and low and behold there was John Davis Chandler (Fair, Remy Gang) on the screen with Jack Cassidy,  followed by Marriet Hartley on the screen in an old Colombo Episode) I guess he was in a lot of TV and other stuff looking at his IMDb listings.  Kiss

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« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2007, 07:56:21 PM »

I didn't leave my thoughts on this film elsewhere?



Agree with the general consensus, great first act, sluggish second act and fun finale.
LVC is given little to do (nevermind the two woman he sleeps with) and the rest of the cast is okay. Oates is the only one who stands out as the villain with the tormented past (ala Indio).
The massacre in the beginning is a lot of fun as is the Barge battle towards the end.
Music is nothing special though I do enjoy the trumpet music just before Oates's and LVC's showdown over the river.

3 1/2 out of 5

« Last Edit: January 29, 2007, 07:58:48 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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