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The Valdez Horses (4 stars)

Bronson stars in solid western from director of The Magnificent Seven

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The Valdez Horses

(15) 93min
(Optimum)

Though not generally thought of as being a spaghetti western, this US/Italian/Spanish co-production from 1976 fits the bill. Directed by Hollywood veteran John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven, Gunfight at the OK Corral), produced by Italian movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis and shot on location in Andalusia (where Sergio Leone worked) with a supporting cast of dubbed Italian and Spanish actors, it stars real-life husband and wife Charles Bronson (again) and Jill Ireland as, respectively, Indian-Mexican horse breeder Chino Valdez and Catherine, the 15-year-old daughter of a wealthy and ruthless landowner. Already shunned by the local community because of his mixed racial origins, Valdez’s romantic pursuit of the gorgeous girl enrages her father, who destroys the young buck’s home and – bad move – steals his beloved horses. Thereafter, revenge is meted out in an icy cold manner that only stone-faced Bronson could manage under that blazing Spanish sun. Good, solid, rough stuff. No extras.

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