Valdez Is Coming (1971)

GP | 90 mins | Western | March 1971

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HISTORY

The closing credits indicate that interiors for Valdez Is Coming were filmed in Estudios Roma, Madrid and exteriors in Almeria and Gredos, Spain. Sam Manners’ onscreen credit is listed as “Associate Producer and Production Manager.” Although Lex Monson, who played the man in the hut, is listed in the cast credits as "Rincon," "Frank Tanner" and "Bob Valdez" refer to him as "Johnson."
       A Nov 1967 HR news item indicated that M-G-M producer Ira Steiner purchased the rights to Elmore Leonard's novel Valdez Is Coming and hoped to produce it at the studio, whereas a Mar 1968 DV news item stated that director Sydney Pollack, who had directed star Burt Lancaster in the 1968 United Artists production The Scalphunters and the 1969 Columbia release Castle Keep (see above for both), would re-team with Lancaster for Valdez Is Coming. In Jul 1968, DV reported that Steiner had taken the property to the Goldwyn Studio where he would continue preparation on the production, which UA would distribute. In Nov 1968, HR noted that Valdez Is Coming was put on hold so that Lancaster could complete the 1970 Universal production of Airport (see above). In Aug 1969, HR ’s “Rambling Reporter” column stated that UA was shelving Valdez Is Coming , perhaps permanently.
       An Oct 1970 LAHExam article stating that the American Humane Association had classified numerous films as unacceptable because of mistreatment to animals included Valdez Is Coming in the list. According to the article, the production used the ... More Less

The closing credits indicate that interiors for Valdez Is Coming were filmed in Estudios Roma, Madrid and exteriors in Almeria and Gredos, Spain. Sam Manners’ onscreen credit is listed as “Associate Producer and Production Manager.” Although Lex Monson, who played the man in the hut, is listed in the cast credits as "Rincon," "Frank Tanner" and "Bob Valdez" refer to him as "Johnson."
       A Nov 1967 HR news item indicated that M-G-M producer Ira Steiner purchased the rights to Elmore Leonard's novel Valdez Is Coming and hoped to produce it at the studio, whereas a Mar 1968 DV news item stated that director Sydney Pollack, who had directed star Burt Lancaster in the 1968 United Artists production The Scalphunters and the 1969 Columbia release Castle Keep (see above for both), would re-team with Lancaster for Valdez Is Coming. In Jul 1968, DV reported that Steiner had taken the property to the Goldwyn Studio where he would continue preparation on the production, which UA would distribute. In Nov 1968, HR noted that Valdez Is Coming was put on hold so that Lancaster could complete the 1970 Universal production of Airport (see above). In Aug 1969, HR ’s “Rambling Reporter” column stated that UA was shelving Valdez Is Coming , perhaps permanently.
       An Oct 1970 LAHExam article stating that the American Humane Association had classified numerous films as unacceptable because of mistreatment to animals included Valdez Is Coming in the list. According to the article, the production used the long-prohibited “running-W,” a wire to trip horses. When the Production Code lost its regulatory authority in the late 1960s, however, reported cases of animal abuse in film productions increased. As noted in Filmfacts , Valdez Is Coming marked the last film of longtime actor Frank Silvera (1914--1970). The picture also marked the directorial debut of Edwin Sherin and the feature film debut of Jon Cypher. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
4 Mar 1968.
---
Daily Variety
16 Jul 1968.
---
Daily Variety
27 May 1969.
---
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1971.
---
Filmfacts
1971
pp. 59-60.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Nov 1967.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1968.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1969.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Dec 1969
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1970
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1971.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
31 Oct 1970
Section B, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1971.
---
New York Times
10 Apr 1971
p. 11.
Time
26 Apr 1971.
---
Variety
10 Mar 1971
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Chief grip
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Const coord
Set dec
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Casting
Unit prod mgr
Scr supv
Auditor
Ramrod
Unit pub
Transportation adv
STAND INS
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Valdez Is Coming by Elmore Leonard (Greenwich, CT, 1970).
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1971
Production Date:
early December 1969--late March 1970 at Estudios Romas, Madrid
Copyright Claimant:
Norlan Productions, Inc. and Ira Steiner Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 March 1971
Copyright Number:
LP39703
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
DeLuxe
Lenses/Prints
Film processed by Fotofilm, Madrid, S.A.
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
GP
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

While riding shotgun on a stagecoach just outside of Lenoria, Arizona, Mexican-American constable Bob Valdez comes upon several men shooting at a small hut. Local rancher and acquaintance Mr. Malson relates to Bob that wealthy businessman Frank Tanner reported the murder of a man at a nearby fort by an army deserter whom Tanner then tracked to the hut hideaway. Disturbed when Tanner’s dimwitted, sharp-shooting henchman, R. L. Davis, fires upon a pregnant Apache woman when she briefly exits the hut to get water, Bob places his law badge on his lapel and approaches the hut to negotiate with the man, who is black. The man insists he has killed no one and has papers in his saddlebag proving his honorable cavalry discharge. Unknown to Bob, on Tanner’s orders, Davis has circled down the hill and, hiding in the brush, waits until Bob moves to examine the saddlebag, then fires through the hut’s open door. Believing Bob has set him up, the man shoots wildly and, forced to defend himself, Bob kills the man. Later, to Bob’s dismay, the openly racist Tanner admits that he was mistaken about the man’s identity. After Bob buries the man and takes the Apache woman to town, he approaches Malson, fellow rancher Beaudry, the sheriff and several men at the shooting to ask for $200 compensation for the pregnant woman. Taken aback, the men reply that donating a sizable amount of money would imply their guilt in the man’s death. When Bob insists, Malson promises that if Bob can convince Tanner to contribute one hundred dollars, they will supply the rest. Agreeing, Bob ... +


While riding shotgun on a stagecoach just outside of Lenoria, Arizona, Mexican-American constable Bob Valdez comes upon several men shooting at a small hut. Local rancher and acquaintance Mr. Malson relates to Bob that wealthy businessman Frank Tanner reported the murder of a man at a nearby fort by an army deserter whom Tanner then tracked to the hut hideaway. Disturbed when Tanner’s dimwitted, sharp-shooting henchman, R. L. Davis, fires upon a pregnant Apache woman when she briefly exits the hut to get water, Bob places his law badge on his lapel and approaches the hut to negotiate with the man, who is black. The man insists he has killed no one and has papers in his saddlebag proving his honorable cavalry discharge. Unknown to Bob, on Tanner’s orders, Davis has circled down the hill and, hiding in the brush, waits until Bob moves to examine the saddlebag, then fires through the hut’s open door. Believing Bob has set him up, the man shoots wildly and, forced to defend himself, Bob kills the man. Later, to Bob’s dismay, the openly racist Tanner admits that he was mistaken about the man’s identity. After Bob buries the man and takes the Apache woman to town, he approaches Malson, fellow rancher Beaudry, the sheriff and several men at the shooting to ask for $200 compensation for the pregnant woman. Taken aback, the men reply that donating a sizable amount of money would imply their guilt in the man’s death. When Bob insists, Malson promises that if Bob can convince Tanner to contribute one hundred dollars, they will supply the rest. Agreeing, Bob rides out to Tanner’s ranch where Tanner refuses to hear his request and orders hired gun El Segundo and his men to harass Bob. Inside, Tanner joins his mistress, Gay Erin, widow of the murdered man at the fort, but refuses to tell her Bob’s identity. Later, Bob takes the Apache woman back to the Mexican neighborhood where he lives near old friend Diego Luz. The next morning, Bob returns to Tanner, who has just agreed to supply rifles to a Mexican military representative in the border town of Nogales. Angered by Bob’s tenacity and disdainful of his mixed-blood heritage, Tanner again refuses to listen to his request and orders his men to torture him. As Gay watches in distress, El Segundo and the others tie Bob to a cross made of two heavy wooden beams and force him to stagger out into the desert. Privately, Gay confronts Tanner over his cruel treatment and demands that he pay the money to the Apache woman. In response, Tanner invites Gay to accompany him to Nogales where they can marry. Meanwhile, Davis follows Bob’s agonizing progress through the desert. Upon reaching a small wooded area, Davis watches in fascination as Bob struggles to crack the heavy beam across his back. After finally splitting the beam between two trees, the now injured Bob collapses as Davis rides up to mock him. That evening, Bob awakens in Diego’s house, unaware that he has crawled there mysteriously free of the wooden cross. After Bob recovers his strength, Diego tells him that the Apache woman has returned to her reservation. Undaunted, Bob returns to his one-room house, where he retrieves his old cavalry uniform and weaponry. The next day, in uniform, traveling with a pack horse carrying firearms, Bob rides out to the edge of Tanner’s property to tell a ranch guard to inform Tanner that “Valdez is coming.” The guard attempts to attack Bob, who wounds him and sends him on to take Tanner the message. Tanner orders El Segundo and his men to go after Bob but by nightfall, El Segundo reports they have not located him. Angry at having to delay his trip to Nogales, Tanner retires with Gay and hours later the couple is stunned when Bob bursts in and demands the money from Tanner. When Tanner pulls a gun from his safe, Bob takes Gay hostage and escapes. El Segundo orders three of his men after Bob, but by dawn, Bob has killed two of them and sent the dying third back to Tanner demanding money for Gay’s return. Although Gay initially attempts to escape, she is puzzled by Bob’s consideration for her in providing clothing, food and water. At Davis’ suggestion that Diego might know Bob’s whereabouts, Tanner and his men ride there and threaten Diego’s wife and daughters, then burn down their house when Diego fails to reveal information about Bob. Moving higher in the hills, Bob learns from Gay that the man in the hut did not kill her husband, nor did Tanner. Spotting the smoke from Diego’s home, Bob secretly returns to check on his friend’s safety. In Bob’s absence, Davis locates Gay, who has been left bound and gagged. Unsure what to do with Gay, who confirms that Bob has not harmed her, Davis is interrupted by Bob’s return and, when wounded, quickly gives himself up. As Bob is about to kill Davis for murdering the man in the hut, Davis pleads with him, revealing that he freed Bob from the cross. Confident that El Segundo will come after him shortly, to Gay’s amazement, Bob refuses to flee, and instead digs in to wait. The next morning, seeing Tanner, El Segundo and his men approaching at a distance, Bob kills five of the men using a long-distance rifle, then retreats with Gay and Davis in a cloud of fog. That night, Bob sends the fearful Davis back to Tanner with a message that he will kill Gay by morning if he has not received the money. While hiding in a cave together, Gay tells Bob she believes he is bluffing about killing her. Bob is startled when Gay then admits her culpability in the death of the man in the hut as she could have talked Tanner out of the attack. When Bob presses for an explanation, Gay confesses that she killed her husband. The next morning, as Davis brings Tanner and the others, Bob offers to set Gay free, but she admits she would like to see Tanner pay him the money. Bob attempts to make an escape using Gay and the horses as cover, but the horses are shot out from under them. El Segundo and his men surround Bob, who after seeing to the uninjured Gay, declines to fight or escape. El Segundo expresses admiration for Bob’s shooting and dignified, fair sense of combat. When Tanner orders El Segundo to kill Bob, he refuses and tells his men the chase is over. Furious when Gay also declines to join him, Tanner turns to Davis, who, unarmed, also refuses to fight. As the hired guns step away from Tanner, Bob holds out his hand and asks for the hundred dollars. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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