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The Bravados (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 1958 (Norway)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
A man is chasing four outlaws who killed his wife and finds them in a small town's jail, but they escape to Mexico.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Frank O'Rourke (novel)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Jim Douglass
Joan Collins ... Josefa Velarde
Stephen Boyd ... Bill Zachary
Albert Salmi ... Ed Taylor
Henry Silva ... Leandro Lujan
Kathleen Gallant Kathleen Gallant ... Emma Steinmetz
Barry Coe ... Tom
George Voskovec ... Gus Steinmetz
Herbert Rudley ... Sheriff Eloy Sanchez
Lee Van Cleef ... Alfonso Parral
Andrew Duggan ... Padre
Ken Scott ... Primo - Deputy Sheriff
Gene Evans ... John Butler
Ninos Cantores de Morelia Choral Group Ninos Cantores de Morelia Choral Group ... Themselves (as The Niños Cantores De Morelia Choral Group)
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Storyline

Jim Douglass (Gregory Peck) has been relentlessly pursuing the four outlaws who murdered his wife, but finds them in jail about to be hanged. While he waits to witness their execution, they escape; and the townspeople enlist Douglas' aid to recapture them. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For what they had done to the woman he loved ...he killed the bravados one by one!! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1958 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bravados See more »

Filming Locations:

Yucatán, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck stated that the movie was written as an attack on McCarthyism, which he strongly opposed. See more »

Goofs

When the wounded sheriff staggers into the church (c.35') the bloodstain on his shirt does not match the knife wound inflicted earlier. It is significantly lower. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Sanchez: Ladies and gentlemen, there's no need for me to tell you - the emergency arose and the man appeared. Mr Douglass, it's not often a man gets to do so much for his neighbors and do it like you did. We want you to know we'll always be grateful... and in our hearts always.
Jim Douglass: Thank you... and in your prayers, please.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This serious adult Western focuses on one man's fanatical pursuit of vengeance and played to near-perfection by Gregory Peck.
10 December 1999 | by Slim-4See all my reviews

Gregory Peck is the show in "The Bravados". His performance reminds me of John Wayne in "The Searchers". In both cases the eyes tell the story. Wayne's were full of hate for the Comanches that defiled his niece. Peck's intense eyes are equally important to this film. In the words of one character, Peck has the "eyes of the hunter".

Like Wayne in "The Searchers" Peck is a man with a quest. Jim Douglas is out for revenge against the murderers of his wife. This single-minded mission brings him to the town of Santa Rita, where the four men he has been chasing are scheduled to hang for another killing. The men escape with a hostage and the chase resumes. Nothing will stop Douglas this time. In his mind the four men deserve no pity and they get none. The law failed to hang them, and now it's his turn.

The casting in this film is interesting. The four low lifes pursued by Peck include three pretty good actors, Stephen Boyd, Henry Silva and Lee Van Cleef. Of the three, Henry Silva's character is the most interesting. He plays Lujan, an Indian. Lujan and Peck share something. They lock eyes at the beginning when Peck visits the four men in jail. It is he who sees the eyes of the hunter. He may not know why Peck hunts them, but he recognizes him as a hunter.

Ultimately, Peck becomes a hero to the citizens of Santa Rita, but heroism comes with a price. In this case Peck sacrifices his humanity. In their end there is potential salvation for Peck from a surprising source.

Except for Lujan, the film provides little reason to sympathize with the four badmen. They have been sentenced to be hanged for a murder in Santa Rita. Steven Boyd ruthlessly shoots an old prospector. Later, he rapes their hostage. Even Joan Collins' character who earlier in the film has urged Peck to give up his relentless quest now urges him to track the surviving killers down and kill them.

There is no question about the morality in this film. There is something incomplete in Peck's character. He is empty inside, because the chase seems to be over. The law has apparently done his job for him. He has little to say to anyone when he arrives in Santa Rita, including his old friend Josefa (Collins). His eyes are full of hate, but otherwise he is hardly alive. He tells Josefa that he loved his wife. "I still do," he says. He has left his little girl behind to chase the killers. Near the end when he sees the little girl she hides behind her nanny. She hardly knows her father. The jail break and the ensuing chase seem to temporarily energize him. He becomes the leader of the possee. Ultimately, he rides off alone to extract his revenge. The energy is misleading. Peck knows what he must do and he does it without emotion. He has sacrificed his humanity at the altar of revenge.

This film is not for everyone. It is a bit intense, and Peck's character isn't very warm and fuzzy. "The Bravados" is a humorless film about a serious subject. Revenge isn't pretty and the price is too high. Peck really delivers with a great performance and the plot is definitely creative. The often told story of the man seeking revenge has seldom been told so well.


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