The Revengers (film)

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The Revengers
The Revengers.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
Directed by Daniel Mann
Produced by Martin Rackin
Written by Wendell Mayes
Story:
Steven W. Carabatsos
Starring William Holden
Ernest Borgnine
Woody Strode
Roger Hanin
Susan Hayward
Music by Pino Calvi
Cinematography Gabriel Torres
Edited by Walter Hannemann
Juan José Marino
Production
company
Distributed by 1972 theatrical release:
National General Pictures
1979 television release:
NBC
Release dates June 21, 1972 (1972-06-21)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Revengers is a 1972 Western film written by Wendell Mayes based upon a story by Steven W. Carabatsos. The film was directed by Daniel Mann and stars William Holden and Ernest Borgnine.

Plot[edit]

The Civil War is over and Medal of Honor winner John Benedict is a Colorado rancher now, with a wife and four children. His pride and joy, son Morgan, is invited to attend West Point, but prefers to help run his father's ranch.

One day while John is away, he sees Comanche Indians riding from the ranch. He returns to find his family killed, with Morgan hanged inside a barn.

Vowing vengeance, John ignores a posse organized by Sheriff Whitcomb and forms his own band, freeing six men from a prison. If they help him find Tarp, who apparently led the slaughter of his family, John will do everything in his power to secure them pardons.

One of the six, Chamaco, bonds with John, feels like a son to him, but is offended by John's reaction to that. He shoots John in the chest. Elizabeth Reilly nurses John back to health, saying the bullet missed his heart by an inch.

The six convicts, including Chamaco, continue to follow John in his quest. The trail leads them to a U.S. Army camp, where the six help fend off an Indian attack. By the time John comes face-to-face with Tarp, his thirst for revenge is gone and he rides home.

Background[edit]

Produced by Cinema Center Films, the film was distributed by National General Pictures and Estudios Churubusco Azteca with an original theatrical release in 1972. The film was commercially re-released in 1979 on NBC's Tuesday Night at the Movies.[1][2] The film was shot in New Mexico in 1971 and marked both the American film debut of German actor Reinhard Kolldehoff,[3] and Susan Hayward's return from voluntary retirement.[4]

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The movie, despite mixed reviews, was a box office bomb. Many critics were turned off by this piece. Judith Crist of New York magazine offered that the film was "another kind of high-class trash ... with William Holden as a proud rancher out to get the villains..."[5] Dave Billington of the Montreal Gazette compared the film with other genre films, writing that while the film does not come near to Return of the Seven or The Dirty Dozen "in smoothness and clean direction, it does fill in a hot afternoon with some cool entertainment." He shares that Holden as the owner of a horse ranch is seen as "rather too coy" in the opening few minutes when his character's wife, sons, daughters, and ranch hands are all murdered before he finally loses his temper. Billington writes that of the six killers hired to help Holden seek revenge, "the two best are certainly Ernest Borgnine and Woody Strode"... noting further that this was "probably Borgnine's best performance since Marty".[6]

Ernest Borgnine wrote in his autobiography, "This western was an attempt to return audiences to the dark territory of The Wild Bunch with a dash of The Dirty Dozen. We had Bill Holden again, and Daniel Mann—who'd directed Willard—tried real hard, but we didn't make it."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walters, Barbara (29 May 1979). "Barbara Walters Interviews Stars". Sumter Daily Item. pp. 5B. 
  2. ^ "Section: Television Times". Los Angeles Times. 27 May 1979. p. 5. 
  3. ^ Lang, Melvin (4 December 1971). "Simmons on leave this week". Associated Press (Times-News). p. 55. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Mary (17 August 1971). "Susan Hayward's Comeback". Los Angeles Times. pp. F11. 
  5. ^ Crist, Judith (June 26, 1972). "What Hath Hitch Hatched". New York (New York Media, LLC.) 5 (26): 53. ISSN 0028-7369. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Billington, Dave (22 July 1972). "Borgnine Splendid In The Revengers". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Borgnine, Ernest (2008). Ernie: The Autobiography. New York: Kensington. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-8065-2941-7. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 

External links[edit]