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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Contrary to the opinions of some reviewers, amateur and professional, Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart) does not murder the hangman Ossie Grimes (Guy Raymond) in order to steal his garb and take his place.

    A check of James Lee Barret's movie script clears this up, revealing a scene unfortunately cut from the film.

    At the end of their seemingly convivial trailside meeting, Mace suddenly draws his gun.

    Mace: "I'm afraid I'm going to have to impose a little more on your hospitality, Mr. Grimes, but I imagine a man who loves life as much as you do will get over it."

    Ossie Grimes: "I don't understand."

    Mace: "You don't have to. I'm taking your ropes, your horse and your clothes."

    Ossie Grimes: "That don't leave me much, does it, friend?"

    Mace: "It leaves you naked and afoot. There'll be a stage by here in two days. Now, let's get 'em off."

    (As the camera fades into the next scene.)

    ...and Ossie Grimes went on to have a wonderful life as a farmhand on the cast of "Green Acres".
  • Bandolero starts out as an amiable western. Former Quantrill raider Dean Martin gets caught robbing a bank where Raquel Welch's husband was killed. He and his gang are sentenced to hang and the town of Valverde Texas even sends for a professional hangman to do it right. Of course Dean's brother James Stewart hears about it and waylays the hangman and takes his place.

    Stewart helps effect an escape for the outlaws minutes before the hanging. And after Dean and his gang get away, Stewart goes and robs the bank that they were unsuccessful in robbing in the first place.

    Up to this point Bandolero is one of the funniest westerns I've ever seen and had the film stopped right there and been a television special it would have gotten rave reviews.

    But Bandolero changes and becomes deadly serious as a posse led by Sheriff George Kennedy and Deputy Andrew Prine chase them across the border and into Bandolero (bandit) country. Mexican bandits who have no use for Americans. These are probably the ancestors of Alfonso Bedoya's bunch from Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Along the way Stewart and Martin connect and Martin takes Raquel Welch as a hostage.

    Bandolero is a good film, but it's far better in the beginning when it is played for laughs than when it becomes serious. Still I would recommend it to western fans.
  • Mace Bishop is slumming his way across Texas when he hears that his brother has been caught robbing a bank and is due to be hung, along with his whole gang. Posing as a hangman, Mace manages to convince the Sheriff of his stolen identity and merrily sets about preparing for the execution. When the day comes Mace goes through the motions until the first chance he gets to slip Dee a gun unseen – allowing them to escape. While all the men ride out of town, Mace finishes off the bank that Dee failed on and rides on to meet up with the gang fleeing to Mexico – however even with a hostage, the Bishop gang are closely pursued by an angry Sheriff Johnson.

    From the very start this film marks itself out as a strange mix that relies on its stars more than anything else. The opening scene is edgy but then the credits are laid back with an almost comic theme tune. The first half continues with this tone and is quite relaxed and enjoyable while also being a bit amusing; however once the Bishops escape, things begin to go downhill but yet there is still over an hour to go. The film forgoes the amiable tone it had in the start and tries to build a story and characters but does neither very well at all. It all drags and is never really convincing with the actual 'chase' sort of petering out in a distracting subplot involving Mexican bandits while the rest of the characters change and act totally unconvincing. It affected my enjoyment of the film – not because it got more serious but because it never got involving. The ending is a massive gunfight that is more silly than exciting and is just a lot of noise to satisfy the audience rather than a good conclusion to the story.

    The characters are a problem because they seem to have been written to suit the stars rather than being true to the story and situations. The best examples of this are Maria (who falls in love too easily), Dee (who is just Dean Martin and not an end of the road bandit) and Mace (who is just James Stewart). People on this site have said that this film gave the stars the chance to play bad guys but this is nonsense – the 'bad guys' here are the gang, who are set as mangy in order to help us see how likable and honourable the Bishops are. Martin plays to his smile but does nothing else – certainly he is not the tough criminal that the opening scene would have us believe he is. Stewart suits his role but there is nothing to him other than a watered down version of his personae and a bit of relaxed charm; this makes for dull viewing though. Welch looks gorgeous and yet she cannot make us believe in her character at all and she is all about being Raquel Welch rather than being a character – heck, even an attempted rape seems to have been shot to show off her back and legs. Kennedy just saunters along in a wasted role and the rest of the gang just do the best they can with thin characters.

    Overall this is a pretty poor film that has an enjoyable little first half but then unsuccessfully opens up into an attempt at a story with characters and such. The story is weak and falls down in the second half, partly due to the characters just not convincing at all. The stars try to work with the material but they are only ever partly successful – Stewart being OK, Welch forcing the emotion and Martin just smiling and relying on his celebrity status. The first hour is OK but this is one for real fans of the actors but nobody else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the sixties Stewart has shown no signs of losing interest in the Western, completing three for Andrew V. McLaglen—the emotional but dignified 'Shenandoah,' 'The Rare Breed,' and 'Bandolero!' He also joins his old colleague, Henry Fonda, for 'Firecreek' and made "The Cheyenne Social Club," under the direction of Gene Kelly…

    Stewart embraced the Western relatively late in his career, but did so whole-heartedly and has earned special place in the history of the genre... He probably didn't expect McLaglen to inspire him to a character excessively theatrical, McLaglen's forte was action, and this he delivered in a professional, if hardly spectacular style... The entire tone of the picture, which co-stars Dean Martin as his outlaw younger brother and Raquel Welch, singularly out of place in a Western setting, is decided1y superficial…

    Raquel Welch seems painfully ill at ease as the grieving widow of a man killed by fugitive outlaw brothers (Martin and Stewart) in a holdup… She comes across more as a camp-follower than as an outraged widow, who gradually falls in love with Martin… Her suit is aided by Stewart, who would like his younger brother to leave his life of crime and settle down to something more respectable

    The plot piles on the Western clichés… It is the post-Civil War west; older brother Stewart fought in the Union Army, younger brother Martin in the Confederate ranks… Pretending to be a hangman (he has stolen the guy's getup on the road) Stewart rescues Martin from the scaffold… After they've held up a bank, intrepid sheriff George Kennedy chases Stewart and Martin to Mexico, with hostage Welch in tow… In a peculiar plot twist, the outlaws find themselves temporary allies with the sheriff when they are set upon by Mexican bandits…

    McLaglen does keep the action moving, and Welch tries to be sexy in the style audiences had come to expect of her, but is suffocated under her frustrated widow character...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having paid my debt to the library, I was once again able to rent DVDs from them, and I got right back into the swing of things with this western from 1968. I like westerns as much as the next guy, but honestly, I checked it out because it was a Raquel Welch film, and like most of her oeuvre, it's basically harmless but hardly ever aspires to be anything other than mildly satisfying.

    There's some odd casting in Bandolero; Dean Martin (!!) plays Dee Bishop, a ne'er do well, and Jimmy Stewart (!!) plays his brother Mace (what is this, Star Wars?), a slightly more noble ne'er do well. Will Geer – best known as Grandpa on the Waltons – is along for the ride as a cantankerous old outlaw named Pops, and George Kennedy rounds out the cast as the simple but good-hearted sheriff with a name far better than the rest of the film, July Johnson. Lastly of course, we have Welch (note how I avoided using the 'rounding out' joke on her?), who plays Maria Stoner, a Mexican ex-whore who has married a rich man and is his trophy wife (shades of Anna Nicole Smith). When Dee kills Stoner in the first reel, Maria is left all alone, and is taken hostage by Dee after his narrow escape from the gallows.

    The plot is fairly straightforward; the sheriff loves the woman who will have nothing to do with him, and he tracks her all over God's brown earth (i.e., Mexico) to get her back. Inexplicably she falls in love with her husband's murderer (Raquel falling for Dean Martin? That's like Natalie Portman falling for Patrick Dempsey. Come on) as they travel deeper into bandito country. As we get to know the characters we find that pretty much everyone other than Dee and his brother in the outlaw gang is a rotten apple (which is such a shock, seeing as how they are bank robbers), and only Mace really has any couth at all.

    Martin, ostensibly the star, is okay here. I never considered him much of an actor, but he's serviceable here. Welch is okay; mostly she has to look good, which isn't hard for her (her hair and nails are always impeccable). I liked Will Geer's world-weary sarcasm and venality, mostly because it was such a change from Grandpa. And Kennedy tries his best to be a likable simpleton, playing everything straight and honest; July's a good guy, but there's not enough to him to tug much at our sympathies. The big surprise is Stewart, who doesn't really seem right for the role of an aging desperado; but his insistence on playing it just less than serious is terrific, and most of his scenes right up until the end are highly amusing. In fact he and Martin have surprising comedic chemistry, and several of their scenes play as asides, everyone stopping what they are doing to listen to the two brothers riff. Stewart imbues the film with some much-needed humor, and steals the show at the same time.

    Bandolero isn't remembered as a classic, with good reason, but it isn't a bad film. It would be forgettable if not for Stewart, but with his comedic licks it rises to be a moderately engaging comedy. There are scores of better westerns, and even better Welch films (and many better Stewart films), but overall, for an evening's diversion, you could do much, much worse.
  • Without comparing it to any of the acknowledged "greats" or even better westerns any of the stars made, "Bandolero" is a satisfying movie - interesting enough story with a bit of a humorous twist, well-mounted, beautifully shot, and everybody involved does their customary good job. If it drags a bit in some of the campfire scenes, it makes up for it in the action scenes. Must single out Rudy Diaz, who plays the chief Mexican bandit, as making a particularly vivid impression in his few scenes. Oh, I almost forgot, another rousing Jerry Goldsmith score worth owning on its own account. What more can you ask, seeing great guys like Jimmy, Dean, George, Harry Carey & Co., and of course Raquel, going thru long-practiced paces they knew so well by this time?
  • This is a pretty entertaining movie - not one of the best westerns any of these actors ever made, but it's always fun to watch Jimmy Stewart and George Kennedy do their thing. Dean Martin isn't bad, Raquel Welch looks great, but at this point she still needed to expand her talent. Entertaining plot, decent action, but the thing I think is most interesting are the names of three of the characters: The sheriff is July Johnson and his deputy's name is Roscoe, and the main villain's name is Dee, all names used in the same way in the great TV movie Lonesome Dove.
  • In Texas , two outlaws brothers (Jimmy and Dino) become fugitives who flee after being jailed and about hanging . The brothers along with their gang (Will Geer , among others) taking a hostage (Raquel Welch) flee across the Mexican frontier . During escape south of border run into trouble with their Mexican counterparts . Meanwhile , they're pursued by a sheriff (George Kennedy) , deputy (Andrew Prine) and a posse.

    This is a nice Western-pursuit plenty of action , violence , shootouts , and quite bemusing . Agreeable acting by Dean Martin as the bad brother and terrific performance by James Stewart as the good but greedy brother . Stewart appears in all Andrew McLagen's other best movies, ¨The rare breed¨ and ¨Fool's parade¨. Furthermore , gorgeous Raquel Welch giving a mediocre acting , as always . Support cast is frankly excellent , such as : Andrew Prine , Will Geer , Clint Ritchie , Denver Pyle , Harry Carey Jr , Perry Lopez , Jock Mahoney and Dub Taylor . In addition , George Kennedy as tough but enamored sheriff is cool .George Kennedy & Dean Martin played together before in "The Sons of Katie Elder" and would do so again in "Airport" .

    The movie displays an awesome cinematography in colorful outdoors by William H. Clothier , John Ford's usual . Spectacular and exciting musical score by the great Jerry Goldsmith who composes with his habitual panaché . The motion picture was well realized by Andrew McLagen , Victor Mc Lagen's son . He was a Western expert, starting in television series as ¨Gunsmoke¨ of which direct many episodes.Besides assistant director of famous Western filmmakers as John Ford, William Wellman and Budd Boetticher . Maclagen's Western talent kept him directing projects throughout the 70s and 80s and enjoyable John Wayne vehicles as ¨McLintock¨ and ¨Cahill,Us Marshall¨ and his best movie, ¨Chisum¨ . Although his product of this time was dispiriting to those who would have liked to have seen subtler talents re-emerge. Rating : Acceptable and amusing Western , it will appeal to Jimmy and Dino enthusiastic and of course, Raquel Welch fans.
  • Sure, Dean and Jimmy starred in better westerns in their careers, RIO BRAVO and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, to name a few, but this one doesn't have John Wayne. The Duke didn't need to be here. This is a good ride that holds the formula western of better days to its heart and you're none the worse off for having given 90+ minutes of your time. And yes, Raquel Welch is gorgeous, baking in the hot Mexico sun. Dino doesn't sing, but the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is haunting.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dean Martin & his gang rob a bank and kill a couple of people including Raquel Welch's husband. Sheriff George Kennedy captures the gang right outside the bank and locks them up. They are found guilty and are sentenced to be hung.

    James Stewart plays Martin's older brother who disguises himself as a hangman and smuggles them some guns in order to make their escape. Along the way, they run into Raquel Welch's wagon and take her hostage. They cross over the border into Mexico with Kennedy and his posse close behind and battle Mexican bandits and the unrelenting heat as they make their way south.

    And of course, Welch starts to fall in love with Martin in the process of this whole formula thing, making things even more complicated than they should be. It seems the rest of the gang (except for Stewart & Will Geer) want a piece of her for themselves, so both Martin and Stewart have to keep them in line in order to make sure nothing happens to her.

    The film is entertaining enough and the ending gun battle with the Mexican bandits in the deserted Mexican town is fairly exciting, although the bandits kill Stewart and Martin while sheriff Kennedy is too busy shooting back at the bandits, himself. The tears shed by Welch over her loss look unconvincing and overacted, but that's all beside the point, I guess.

    With our two anti-heroes dead, there's really not much of a happy ending to this one, but I'll still give it 5 out of 10 for being rousing and slightly entertaining.
  • A patchy western which has rather ambivalent attitudes towards it's two main characters,the Bishop brothers,oddly played by Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin! It's most improbable to accept the above as siblings,never mind Western badmen.The film itself seems to wearily accept this as all throughout the two are treated as sympathetic ne'er-do-well's trapped by unfavourable circumstance,whereas the rest of Martin's gang are portrayed as ruthless villains.

    The best scenes are certainly in the first 30 minutes of the film,with Martin and his gang waiting to be hanged after a failed bank robbery;Cowboy drifter Stewart accidentally finds out about the impending execution of his brother,and overpowers the hangman involved so he can arrange an elaborate escape.All these early scenes work very well,continually laced with effective black humour,and an enjoyable concentration on Stewart and witty duologue's with such familiar Western character actors such as Ray Barcroft,Dub Taylor and Guy Raymond.

    After the escape,things oddly turn flat.Stewart robs a bank(non-violently)afterwards,Martin and gang gently abduct Raquel Welch,and are relentlessly pursued by Sheriff George Kennedy and deputies.There's good chemistry between Stewart and Martin,and one or two effective scenes thereafter,but BANDOLERO! tends to get bogged down in dullish conversation and not enough action.A sub-plot of Ms Welch falling in love with Martin(after his gang ruthlessly murdered her husband Jock Mahoney) is even more improbable than Dino and Jimmy being members of the same family,and her attempt at a Latin-American accent(she is of Bolivian descent)is adequate but that doesn't automatically mean a good performance.Another sub-plot involving murderous bandits gives the film a surprisingly brutal and violent edge,aspects which were creeping into US film at this time in the late 60's,which as far as Western films were concerned reached a near zenith in the following year's THE WILD BUNCH.The film should've been shorter with better pacing,but isn't too bad thanks to Messers Stewart and Martin,despite their obvious miscasting.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The problem with this western is that because of James Stewart and Dean Martin it builds up your expectations, and it ends up delivering routine stuff. But very enjoyable routine, the only drawback is the miscasting of Raquel Welch, very unconvincing, and looking more like a doll. The key point of the film should be love that starts growing between Dean Martin and Raquel, that should have been really hot, but what happens is certainly cold. There are some old timers in small parts like Don "Red" Barry, Jock Mohoney and Harry Carey Jr. James Stewart and Dean Martin are very good as the "bad guys" who are really not so bad, also George Kennedy as the Sheriff that is hunting them and ends up fighting with them against the "bandoleros". Good as an action movie, but fails in the romantic part.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Can a decent western be made without John Wayne? You're darn tootin' pard. James Stewart takes on the identity of a hangman, in order to free a gang of outlaws gravitating around his brother(Dean Martin). This outfit of misfits take a beautiful woman(Raquel Welch)in tow as they try to get to the Mexican border before Sheriff George Kennedy and his posse. The sheriff is not overly concerned about the bad guys being on the run as much as his woman being their hostage. There is some great Utah scenery and a slew of talented supporting stars...the likes of: Will Geer, Andrew Prine, Denver Pyle and Harry Carey Jr. Wayne never shows up for this one and Martin doesn't sing. But there is one hell of a shootout to make BANDOLERO! a watchable western.
  • "Bandolero!" is a time-filler which has been appropriately relegated to the late-late show, although it was one of the top-grossing moneymakers of 1968. Despite a solid cast, it's a formula western with the actors going through the motions. James Stewart does have the rare opportunity to play a bad guy (albeit a decent bad guy), while Dean Martin, also a villain, is improbably cast as Jimmy's brother! George Kennedy is the salt-of-the-earth sheriff who tries bringing them in, and his love for kidnapped Raquel Welch is rather touching (she's an easy presence on the screen). Too bad the movie has so little energy; the violence (including several shootouts and a bloody attack by Mexican bandits) is surprisingly vicious for a star-driven western, but otherwise it's a lazy, middle-of-the-road effort. **1/2 from ****
  • An entertaining Western whose major selling points are a winning cast and beautiful outdoor photography, 1968's "Bandolero!" proved an easy 100 minutes for me to sit through. In it, James Stewart rescues brother Dean Martin and his sleazy gang from a neck-stretching party in 1867 Texas, after Dino & Co.'s botched bank robbery. They hightail it over the Mexican border with the recently widowed "vistoso" Mexican Raquel Welch as their hostage, while sheriff George Kennedy and his posse follow in hot pursuit. Truth be told, Kennedy is more hot for Raquel than the pursuit of justice, and who wouldn't be? Racky, 28 here and at the peak of her sex goddess phase, looks terrific, and acts very passably. She makes for a very convincing Mexican (although, in real life, her father was Bolivian and her mother of English descent). Stewart (need it even be said?) is fine as always, and supplies much of the film's humor with his double takes and slowpoke delivery. This is no Anthony Mann Western, however, and Stewart was ever so much more impressive in oaters such as "Winchester '73" (1950) and especially "The Naked Spur" (1953). Dino, it should be added, is also fine as a decent guy who just can't seem to make good. "Bandolero!" also features some amusing lesser characters (particularly that hangman!) and a surprisingly gritty and quite violent conclusion. It's no Peckinpah bloodbath, but following what is essentially a fun, lighthearted Western, it does shake the viewer. Lesson to be learned: Don't press your sexual "favors" on a Mexican woman if she's anywhere near a six-shooter!
  • ashew12 April 2006
    Really good potential done in by a horrendous script and Ms. Welch's non-existent acting skills. She is so lucky she is as drop-dead gorgeous as she is because the woman actually makes Pam Anderson look like Olivier.

    The Cons: The script and direction. Both are poorly handled, messy, and inconsistent.

    The Pros: Setting aside the idiocy of making James Stewart and Dean Martin brothers (topped only by making Dean Martin the brother of John Wayne, Earl Holliman, and Michael Anderson Jr in "Sons of Katie Elder"), they are both very watchable. I have read some complaints of Dean Martin's acting on this site, but one must really dismiss the FILMS of Dean Martin and study the ACTING of Dean Martin. He is actually excellent. Always. Most of Dean Martin's films are garbage, but I dare you to find an insincere Dean Martin moment in any of them. Dino is, however, horribly miscast in this film, along with Mr. Stewart, but to their credit they try like heck to give it their all. As stated in a previous comment on this site, Mr. Stewart does steal the movie away from everyone. He was a genius. He should be loved for much more than Harvey and It's A Wonderful Life, but people just don't seem to grasp his true genius, which is such a crime. He is one of the finest actors that has ever lived. A brilliant performer.

    The two other actors who I feel should be mentioned as providing excellent support are Will Geer and George Kennedy. Both took their thread-bare characters and really made something out of them.

    All the good points go to waste, unfortunately, in a boring movie with a thoroughly unsatisfying ending. I certainly applaud a "non-Hollywood" ending, but this one was screwed-up pretty badly, thus removing any impact.

    This film is proof, once again, that great actors are only able to soar when the words they speak are worth listening to, and the director provides the right environment for the listening to take place.

    A missed opportunity overall, but gets a 4 from me primarily for the superior performance of Mr. James Stewart.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A mildly entertaining western directed by the efficient Andrew V. McLaglen. When bank robber Dean Martin & his unsavory crew are set to be hanged, his clever brother James Stewart shows up as the hangman. After helping the motley group escape, Stewart joins the bandits as they head across the border to Mexico with wealthy widow Raquel Welch in tow. They're all pursued (for various reasons) by vengeful sheriff George Kennedy. Martin plays it straight in this film and Stewart is very much Stewart. In other words, he's a pillar of strength and the film's moral compass. Welch affects a Mexican accent and is fine, though she stays remarkably freshly scrubbed for being on the road for what seems like at least several weeks. The large supporting cast includes Will Geer, Andrew Prine, Denver Pyle and, briefly, Dub Taylor as an ornery hotel attendant. The stunning cinematography is by William H. Clothier and the exciting music score is by Jerry Goldsmith. Both are probably too good for what is essentially a fun diversion.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I could swear that when I first saw this film it had a scene of the Jimmy Stewart character Mace Bishop riding off in the hangman's clothes with the real hangman tied up and gagged in his underwear. Whenever this film is shown now it is missing that scene. The first part of this film is entertaining enough but runs out of steam right at the part after Mace Bishop in his hangman's get up robs the bank in Val Verde and turns to a stunned passerby and says "Tough world isn't it"? The movie might as well have ended right there as the rest of it is totally flat. The only worthwhile part in the second half of the picture is when the Wil Geer character scolds his boy about picking his nose and then explains to Mace the difference between manners and making a living such as killing people and burning down their homes.
  • this movie has larry mcmurtry written all over it--as someone else has noted, three of the characters have names that later showed up in "lonesome dove", roscoe's last name is bookbinder, and larry mcmurtry is a bookseller and book fanatic, most of the film is set near the texas/mexico border, where lonesome dove is located, and dee and mace have a brotherly relationship much like call and gus (and don't forget "lonesome dove" began as a screenplay intended for james stewart and john wayne) and dee and mace talk about going to montana and starting a ranch......

    larry mcmurtry doesn't get a screen credit here, but i'll betcha he had something to do with the screenplay......

    anyone know for sure?
  • Despite having Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin, this is a purely average Western that is eminently skip-able. While some of the story elements are new and interesting, the vast majority of the movie just doesn't provide much that is new or believable. The problems? Well, first it is very difficult to believe that Dean Martin and Jimmy Stewart are brothers. It's not just that they look so different, but they sound so different as well. Then, the whole plot about Stewart trying to get his brother to go straight BUT only after Jimmy broke a whole lotta laws. And, finally, the "romance" between Dean Martin and Ms. Welch just seemed stupid. Now I know that she didn't love her husband but she did care about him,...and then to fall for the man responsible for his murder just doesn't make sense. The film is just too far-fetched and the payoff too small to make this anything other than a time passer.

    FYI--Ms. Welch plays a Mexican. Hearing this accent from her was weird, though I guess she played the role okay.
  • I know this may sound ridiculous, but am I the only one who thinks Jimmy Stewart murdered the hangman? What else would he have done? Tied him up and left him to the wolves? Injured him badly enough he was unconscious for more than a day? Isn't it kind of silly that we're supposed to ignore that? He waltzes into town and scolds Dean Martin about 'What would Mother think', right after he murdered an innocent man! Preposterous, you might say...But could the bloodthirsty character of the hangman have been a way to justify his murder? No, no, I'm sure Jimmy just sat down with him and had a heart to heart about the situation, what with the war, and mother dead of heart break, and all, I guess the hangman decided to give him his clothes and horse and walk back to town naked and take the stage coach back to Oklahoma. Don't think so? Well then this movie is about Jimmy Stewart, cold blooded killer.

    Also, if he had just never rescued his brother, there would be like twenty less fatherless children in that town! Yeah, yeah, I know the response comments like this will get, but I really do think the disappearing hangman is a step too far.
  • The sheriff and his sidekick tracking James Stewart and Dean Martin are named July Johnson and Roscoe. Both of these characters appear in Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove as a sheriff and his sidekick out of Arkansas tracking Jake Spoon. Wonder about the connection between the two stories.

    McMurtry is not mentioned in the writing credits, so if he didn't provide the names and reuse them, then he fell in love with them and 'reused' them at a later date. There are some other things that have a McMurtry fell, like when Stewart and Martin are talking about Montana, and the whole episodes of crossing the desert reminds me of Dead Man's Walk...
  • This is what you might call a sprawling Western. It plays out a little too grandiose for the shallowness of the characters, but it is still a sprawling sort, with great scenery, costumes, and action.

    The plot is very formula, law abiding hard working older brother and carefree lawless younger brother, and much like Stewart's classic, "Night Passage", but without the magic. In fact, I call "Night Passage" the magic Western, with Stewart, Duryea, and Murphy all playing perfectly together. Kennedy equals Duryea in the legend category, and Martin is sort of a pretty boy as was Murphy, but Murphy had much more charisma. That may explain some of what is missing.

    But much of it is that the characters just aren't that likable. The circumstances become way too unbelievable, even for a sprawling Western. We often give literary license to an extent, but Bandolero clearly bypasses all credibility.

    So the film is basically played for the spectacle and for the bits of humor. It may be the "Pulp Fiction" of Westerns. There are funny little lines, when added to the spectacle and scenery, make it a touch better than the average Western. But don't expect a lot. It is just a fun ride, not to be taken seriously. From that perspective, it makes good entertainment.
  • Mace Bishop (James Stewart) masquerades as a hangman in order to save his outlaw brother from the gallows, runs to Mexico chased by the sheriff's posse and fights against Mexican bandits.

    The film was shot at the Alamo Village, the movie set originally created for John Wayne's "The Alamo". The Alamo Village is located north of Brackettville, Texas. I wonder how many film sets were strewn about the desert over the years. Of course, many were reused, but with how many westerns were made, it seemed there must have been a lot of small villages going up.

    Say what you will, but I think James Stewart made the best westerns. John Wayne was a bigger star of the genre and Clint Eastwood picked up Wayne's place later... but James Stewart just has a presence about him, no matter what he was doing, he made you want to watch it.
  • If you're Catholic and you grew up in Spokane, Washington in the 60s and 70s, then there is a chance you used to read the Spokane Diocese's newspaper, The Inland Register. In it, movies would be reviewed not on their stories or acting but on their moral content. If a movie received an "M.O.", morally-objectionable, you were not to see the movie.

    For a future "fallen" Catholic like myself, the worse the rating in the IR, the better! I don't know for sure, but I'm betting Andrew V. McLaglen's Bandolero received the kiss of moral death by the folks at Lourdes Cathedral. What would have been exciting and appealing to a 17 year old is now viewed as repulsive trash, with two Old West recidivists (Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin) running from the law (George Kennedy) with hostage Raquel Welch (Dow Corning) in tow.

    As Judith Crist used to say "the blood flows like Chianti" in Bandolero. There are no good guys except for Kennedy and his deputy Andrew Prine, and they're almost-but-not-quite cognitively impaired. Martin is too far gone for redemption as he slaughters his way across the desert while falling in love with non-actress Welch. His crew oozes with rapists and murderers, but we're supposed to cut Dino some slack because at least he feels a twinge of remorse for his deeds.

    Then there's Martin's brother, Stewart, who we are expected to believe is the better of the two brothers. That's a little hard to accomplish when he meets up with a hangman-for-hire and, offscreen, ices the poor shlub without so much as a sigh.

    By the end of movie, the bad guys and the good guys have teamed up to kill other badder guys, and the sand of a Mexican town is fairly spongy with blood.

    Bandolero is a nauseating mess, better left at the nearest distribution center of Netflix, unless you're hooked on Chianti.
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