As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook
This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.
Valdez is Coming (1971)
There are some great parts of this film. The first half of the picture up until after Lancaster is “crucified” is solid, sometimes more than solid. The tension raised as he seeks justice for the murdered man’s widow is well staged and paced. However once he kidnaps the woman, the film falls apart, specifically in the way that the men chasing him behave. The end, which is very interesting, comes with no foundation. It’s wonderful that these men now respect Valdez so much that they will stand against their boss however their motivation for this admiration isn’t there. The characters are shallow and ill conceived. I feel that the direction by Edwin Sherin is to blame, not bringing the film together as it could have been.
Lasting impression: the scene where they shoot at and around Lancaster as he remains stoic and brave.