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Author Topic: They Came To Cordura (1959)  (Read 4326 times)
cigar joe
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« on: August 21, 2007, 10:38:57 PM »

Dir. by Richard Rossen

starring:
 Gary Cooper ...  Maj. Thomas Thorn
 Rita Hayworth ...  Adelaide Geary
 Van Heflin ...  Sgt. John Chawk
 Tab Hunter ...  Lt. William Fowler
 Richard Conte ...  Cpl. Milo Trubee
 Michael Callan ...  Pvt. Andrew Hetherington
 Dick York ...  Pvt. Renziehausen
 Robert Keith ...  Col. Rogers
 Carlos Romero ...  Arreaga
 Jim Bannon ...  Capt. Paltz (as James Bannon)

Watched this tonight, a psychological Zapata, had mixed feelings about it, basically Coop plays a Major Thorn who at Villa's attack on Columbus NM was stricken by fear. His commanding officer a friend of his father, spares him and recommends him for non combat duty that consists of citing soldiers for the Congressional Medal of Honnor.

During Pershings Punnative Expedition against Pancho Villa in a cavalry attack upon a hacienda, cites 5 men for the medal. The Commander who lead the charge was expecting to also be cited but he's not and he sends Thorn with 6 men back to Cordura along with Adelaide Geary  (Rita Hayworth) the hacienda's owner.

Now the cavalry attack was pretty cool seeing as how its the first I've ever seen with the US Cavalry in khaki. But that was the major extent of the action the rest of the film is Cooper against the rest of his party and the Mexican desert and it gets pretty long in the tooth. It could have used a lot more action than what it had.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 10:51:18 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2007, 08:25:57 PM »

More thoughts:

Coop was a bit too old for the part, the disintergration of the various charaters into their baser counterparts wasn't done as well as it should have been. There were no closeups showing any real emotions that I remember. It had loads of great scenery but not much to juxtapose against it, it ended up a bit monotonous Rossen didn't direct a very good film. Rita Hayworth actually showed her acting ability but it was wasted.

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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 10:50:26 AM »

I caught maybe the second half or a little less of this on TCM.   I missed the calvary attack  Embarrassed.  With what I was able to see, I agree with what you say CJ.  The photography of the landscapes was very nice.  I liked the idea of a psychological drama exploring courage and cowardice, but the film didn't carry it off in a way to keep it interesting.... for me.  There was the makings of a very good film there if maybe the script had been been better.  The parts I saw focused on the tension within the group itself as you've noted.  Will maybe have to catch it again from the beginning.  I guess Cooper would of been 58 or so at the time.  I very much liked Rita Hayworth.  She would of been 40 or 41 and still very beautiful. (If they made this film today using an older star, would imagine the age difference would be greater than 17 years)  She did give a very nice performance.  I was surprised by the scene where she helped Cooper get some sleep.     

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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 02:56:55 PM »

All the action was front loaded.  Cry

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2010, 08:58:40 PM »

Well I watched this again on a rental from Netflix. I've changed my initial critique. This time I knew what to expect and I liked it much much better the idea of a psychological drama exploring courage and cowardice worked the second time around because I didn't have any expectations for a typical Zapata Western.

All the characters are flawed in some way and the supporting actors Heflin, Conte, Hunter, York, Callan, Keith, and Hayward in particular are great. The Cinemascope cinematography and the locations in Mexico & Utah is breathtaking. Check it out 7/10

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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 08:37:29 PM »

miss hayworth along w/ coop might have crawled to cordura, coop's bravado on the prowl. miss hayworth is accumulating too many bad habits....there are circles under her eyes ,  hard living, hard drinking cigarette smoking type
sadness...but, she remains more delicious than ever. remind me to do my post on how Elvis couldn't pass a mirror, lol

« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 09:06:14 PM by BTW » Logged
dave jenkins
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 10:32:16 PM »

miss hayworth along w/ coop might have crawled to cordura, coop's bravado on the prowl. miss hayworth is accumulating too many bad habits....there are circles under her eyes ,  hard living, hard drinking cigarette smoking type
sadness...but, she remains more delicious than ever. remind me to do my post on how Elvis couldn't pass a mirror, lol
Afro

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