(1961) John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff, Lee Marvin, Michael Ansara, Patrick Wayne, Bruce Cabot, Bob Steele, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams, Joan O’Brien, Jack Elam, Edgar Buchanan, Henry Daniell, Richard Devon, John Dierkes, Roger Mobley, Steve Baylor, Luisa Triana, Aissa Wayne, Iphigenie Castiglioni, Gregg Palmer, Don Brodie, George J. Lewis, Jon Lormer, Phil Arnold, Alan Carney, Dennis Cole;
Directed by: Michael Curtiz; Color
Whenever the great films of John Wayne are mentioned, one can be sure to hear about The Searchers, Red River, The Quiet Man, and John Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy”, but for vintage Duke (in the perfect drive-in or Saturday matinee, big budget, action Western), it’s hard to top The Comancheros. Seeded with all the familiar Wayne film characters (look for Guinn Williams’ brilliant turn as a jailed gun-runner), the plot involves renegade Indians, rogue bandits, love in bloom (for Stuart Whitman and Ina Balin) and eventually good conquering evil.
In this film directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Captain Blood, King Creole), the Duke was at the top of his game playing Captain Jake Cutter, Texas Ranger. When it is discovered that white renegades have been supplying whiskey and guns to the Indians, the Duke, after being sent out to apprehend Louisiana gambler Whitman, goes undercover, meets up and deals with one of Wildest Westerns’ 10 most dastardly villains (Lee Marvin as devilish Tully Crow), reluctantly joins forces with Whitman (and the feelings are mutual!), and gets captured by the renegades while trying to infiltrate their camp……………………………