Valdez Is Coming | Chicago Reader

Valdez Is Coming

After Marlon Brando dropped out because of scheduling delays, producer Burt Lancaster took over as the lead in this stark 1971 adaptation of Elmore Leonard's western, which was shot in Spain. Set up by a brutal Arizona rancher (Jon Cypher) and a gun-crazy cowboy (Richard Jordan), the title character, a Mexican constable, kills an innocent black soldier. Left for dead by the landowner's henchmen, Valdez rallies, taking the villain's not-so-innocent lover (Susan Clark) hostage and picking off the bad guys one by one. Making his feature debut after his Broadway smash The Great White Hope, Edwin Sherin directed Lancaster to a performance that is sturdy and at times subtle--though the actor's makeup and accent certainly are not. With Frank Silvera, Barton Heyman, and Hector Elizondo. PG-13, 90 min.

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