BANDOLERO! —hollow, profitable 1968 western, directed in his typically half-hearted fashion by Andrew V. McLaglen, filmed in Utah, Arizona and Texas. Moderately interesting, thanks to the pro cast, who make what they can of a dumb array of situations and often foolish dialogue.
James Stewart and Dean Martin are outlaw brothers, escaping from the law with a grungy gang, accompanied by beauteous and conveniently widowed senora Raquel Welch, pursued by sheriff George Kennedy. Both Good and Bad Guys are plagued, riddled and chopped up by machete-wielding banditos.
Not really much action, until the violent finale. Mainly it’s talk–twaddle about honor among thieves, that sort of jive. While the three male stars and the vets in the supporting cast all play their hands without fumbling, it is amusing to hear Raquel mangle a Mexican accent.
Most creditable item in the $4,450,000 exercise is the pretty main theme that composer Jerry Goldsmith decorates his score with: it expresses heart the project it serves lacks. Reaped $15,700,000, the 21st most popular flick of the year, jawing 106 minutes, among a crop of westerns.*
With Andrew Prine, Will Geer, Clint Ritchie, Sean McClory, Tom Keaton, Denver Pyle, Harry Carey Jr., Donald Barry, Rudy Diaz, Dub Taylor, Jock Mahoney, Perry Lopez and Roy Barcroft.
* This item led the posse in ’68. Hanging on to a cultural foothold in that tumultous year were, in order of ticket sales: Hang ’em High, 5 Card Stud, The Scalphunters, The Stalking Moon, Once Upon A Time In The West, Will Penny, Villa Rides, Firecreek, Shalako, Guns For San Sebastian, A Minute To Pray A Second To Die, Navajo Joe, Arizona Bushwhackers and Journey To Shiloh.