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El Condor (1970, Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef)

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Ex-NFL star Jim Brown and the evil-eyed Lee Van Cleef (playing against type as a scruffy prospector) team up in John Guillermin’s spaghetti western set on the Mexican border. When chain-gang fugitive Brown learns of buried gold hidden in the massive fortress of El Condor, he and Van Cleef round up a gang of Apaches, persuading them the fort houses food and guns.

The first attack is thwarted and the pair are captured but the comely commandant’s wife (Marianna Hall) takes a shine to Brown and distracts the guards’ attention from their escape with an engaging disrobing diversion. Once again, the fort is attacked by the gang, but can they defeat the defending force and find the gold?

Epic battle scenes and a stunning score from Maurice Jarre raise this underrated western, produced by the legendary Andre de Toth, into Leoneish territory.

production details
USA | 102 minutes | 1970

Director: John Guillermin
Script: Larry Cohen, Steven W. Carabatsos,

cast
Jim Brown as Luke
Lee Van Cleef as Jaroo
Patrick O’Neal as Chavez
Marianna Hill as Claudine
Elisha Cook Jr. as Old Convict
Iron Eyes Cody as Santana
Imogen Hassall as Dolores
Gustavo Rojo as Colonel Anguinaldo
Florencio Amarilla as Águila
Julio Peña as General Hernández
Ángel del Pozo as Lieutenant
Dan van Husen as Bandit
Ricardo Palacios as Chief Bandit

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