Valdez Is Coming

Lancaster is a Mexican-American peace officer who runs across a party of men blasting guns at a shack. He learns that the men are trying to bring out Monson, a black man accused of murdering a local trader. After Lancaster calms the group Monson comes out only to be shot at by a still angry vigilante. Monson fires back, and Lancaster is forced to kill him....read more

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Lancaster is a Mexican-American peace officer who runs across a party of men blasting guns at a shack. He learns that the men are trying to bring out Monson, a black man accused of murdering a local trader. After Lancaster calms the group Monson comes out only to be shot at by a still

angry vigilante. Monson fires back, and Lancaster is forced to kill him. Cypher, a wealthy rancher heading the party, looks at the corpse and realizes they killed the wrong man. Lancaster tries to raise $200 to give Monson's widow. Locals agree to provide half the money with the understanding that

Cypher will put up the rest. When Lancaster confronts the man he is rebuffed, then tied to a cross and left to wander in the desert. Lancaster vows revenge and sends Cypher a message: "Valdez is coming." He kidnaps Clark, Cypher's mistress and the murdered trader's widow. She admits to killing her

husband and ends up in a love affair with Lancaster. A posse hired by Cypher goes out after Lancaster, but he takes them on handily. Eventually the posse captures the wily man, but Lancaster's life is spared. The men have grown to admire Lancaster and leave him free to have it out with Cypher. The

rich man, broken by Lancaster's spirit, pays off the $100 his adversary has been demanding. The film tries to make a statement about race relations but unfortunately gets bogged down in obvious characterizations and a good deal of gratuitous violence. Shot in Spain, this film marked the directoral

debut for Sherin, who was highly praised for his production of "The Great White Hope" on Broadway. He shows little sense for film, though, creating a movie that differs little from any other minor western effort of the early 1970s. One scene has Lancaster and Clark colliding while on horseback,

which prompted a condemnation of the film by the American Humane Association. Though the film is unsatisfying, Lancaster does give it his best. In order to create a realistic character he went to a language coach with questions about speech patterns of Mexicans living in the 1890s American

Southwest. He also consulted students of Mexican-Chicano programs at a Los Angeles college and took advice from a Mexican script boy to add further perspective to his interpretation.