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Vera Cruz is a 1954 American Western movie starring Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Denise Darcel, Sara Montiel and Cesar Romero. The Technicolor Western was directed by Robert Aldrich from a story by Borden Chase. It isconsidered one of the most influential Western films ever made. The film's amoral characters, Mexicanmarker setting, and cynical attitude towards violence (including a scene where Lancaster's character threatens to murder child hostages) was considered shocking at the time, and influenced future Westerns such as The Magnificent Seven, The Wild Bunch, and the films of Sergio Leone.

Plot

Ben Trane
During the Franco-Mexican War, ex-Confederate soldier Ben Trane (Cooper) travels to Mexico seeking a job as a mercenary. He falls in with Joe Erin (Lancaster), a lethal gunslinger who heads a gang of cutthroats (including Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, Charles Bronson, and Archie Savage). They are recruited by Emperor Maximilian (George Macready) to help escort Countess Duvarre (Denise Darcel) to Vera Cruz.

Trane and Erin discover that the countess and Marquis Henri de Labordere (Cesare Romero) are secretly transporting a large cache of gold intended for the French army. All concerned, including Juarista secret agent Nina (Sara Montiel), conspire to steal it for their own purposes. Also involved in the mix is Morris Ankrum as a heroic Juarista leader.

In the end, Trane and Erin face off in a showdown.

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