I'm not admittedly a spaghetti and/or paella western expert, and i normally
can't stand a western movie with the exception of the
Mediterranean kind, those i like and even the trashiest and most lowbudgeted
one's. Italian and Spanish films from the 1960's and
1970's just rocked for some reason. I've never heard about this 1965
western with drama and action and it must surely be obscure
and forgotten. It's a Spanish film production but directed by an american
genre veteran (George Sherman) and with two americans
in the lead roles, Jeffrey Hunter as Murrieta and Arthur Kennedy as
the sheriff. Then with spanish actors as Diana Lorys, Roberto
Camardiel as Jack and with Sara Lezana as Rosita in the smaller roles.
The film looks great and has an unusual perspective
as it is the Gringos that are the bad guys and the poor méxicans
of racism and violence in the recently by US acquired state, California.
The indigenous Méxicans harassed and murdered, with their
Ranchos and land being stolen or burned down. Something that later further
motivates the Fury of Joaquín Murrieta.
The film starts with Joaquin (Jeffrey Hunter) and his
adorable young wife Rosita (Sara Lezana) arriving on foot to the town
California, with all their belongings in 2 bags and a guitar on Joaquin's
back. They have left their home in Sonora, México, to dig for
gold and make some money enabling them to return to Sonora and buy some
land and raise a family.
But, they are thrown out of a Saloon for being darkskinned, and they
contemptuosly are called Mex, Greasers and "You pour in
like ants" etc by the racist gringos. The only friendly man they
meet is the Sheriff, Harry Love (a fine performing Arthur Kennedy).
The film starts out like a drama with the 1st half depicting
the hardship of Joaquin and Rosita, and this part builds up to the rebellion
in the second part. I found the drama part to be almost gripping and
with a very fine performance by Jeffrey Hunter and with the
married couple very much in love and radiating joy.
They dig for gold in a small spot of land, that Joaqín has bought,
at the the river, and then a gang of three gringos attack, rape and
kills the pregnant Rosita. Joaquin stays in Salinas earning money by
gambling and patiently waiting for the three perps showing up.
The Fury of Joaquín Murrieta
They do show up finally, and he murders them. Thrown
into jail along with two méxican bandits they await being lynched
Gringo mob and when hearing that he has killed three gringos one of
the bandits, Jack Three Fingers (Roberto Camardiel) says
that "It will be an honor to be hanged with you". But the
female restaurateur of Kate's Ham and Eggs (played by a blonde Diana
Lorys, with a weird sounding english dub) somehow smuggles a gun to
them. They escape up into the mountains where Joaquín
joins and becomes the boss of Jack Three Fingers gangster gang.
Filled with Rage Joaquín wants to create an army of rebels and
to force the opressing gringos out of California, and they start a
reign of terror, robbing and killing gringos wherever they see them.
Wikipedia says: Joaquín Murrieta (1829-1953)
AKA The Robin Hood of El Dorado, is a disputed historical figure from
the times of
the Californian gold rush. He was told about in the 1854 book "The
Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta: The Celebrated
California Bandit" and, maybe, in 1919 the inspiration for the
fictional adventurer Zorro.
The Spanish Bluray presents the film in a 1.85:1 widescreen
ratio, with an english mono dub (or a spanish 5.1 or mono original
audio with spanish subtitles) LPCM, region ALL. Extras a Galeria, filmografias
director and actors, ficha tecnica