Alvarez Kelly



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 50%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 1720


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 23,634 times
May 30, 2017 at 10:00 PM



William Holden as Alvarez Kelly
Scatman Crothers as Bellhop
Richard Widmark as Col. Tom Rossiter
Harry Carey Jr. as Cpl. Peterson
720p 1080p
768.95 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 0 / 10
1.63 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rhp6033 6 / 10

Loosely based on actual historical event

In the early 1960's, there was quite a bit of interest in the Civil War during the centennial observances of events over the four-year period. Quite a few films were released either about the war, or which had the war in the background or as preludes to western films, which were very popular at the time. This film fits within that genre - both as a "civil war" film, which is also a bit of a "western", considering the cattle-rustling angle.

This movie is (loosly) based upon an actual event. In September of 1964, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was besieged by Grant's forces in entrenchments which stretched along the eastern side of Richmond, then south across the James river, then along the southern border of Petersburg, Virginia. A confederate scout noticed a large heard of cattle (approaching 4000 head) located at Coggins Point on the James River, not far from Grant's headquarters. In the army parlance of the days before refrigeration or canning to preserve meat, this was referred to by the commissary services as "beef on the hoof".

Confederate Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton organized a raid which swung wide around the Union lines, traveled through Union-held territory to the site, overcame the small guard, and herded 2,468 cattle back into the Confederate lines where it became a welcome addition to the scanty rations the Confederate troops normally received. The Confederate losses were quite small - 10 killed, 47 wounded, and 4 missing, according to Hampton's official after-action report.

The raid went down in history as either "Hampton's Cattle Raid", or simply "The Great Beefsteak Raid".

Of course, the lead character "Alverez Kelly" from the movie has no real counterpart in history of which I am aware.

Reviewed by Mickey-2 7 / 10

"The slickest piece of cattle-rustling I've heard tell of" A. Lincoln

"Alvarez Kelly", made in 1966, supposedly tells the story of a cattle herd that was headed for Union lines during the latter months of the Civil War but was stolen by Confederate raiders, and ended up in Richmond, or so the movie says. That brings the quote listed in my summary to bear. While this may have been a fictitious event in the American Civil War, the movie does give a decent look at life during those turbulent years when one side was simply using might to slowly beat down the other side.

William Holden plays the owner of the cattle herd who has arranged, for a price, to deliver a prime beef herd to Union lines during the latter year of the War, 1864. As Kelly, he'll do anything that can be done, as long as there is a handsome fee at the end of the task. Richard Widmark plays the leader of the Confederate raiders who is just as determined to get the herd delivered, but not to Yankees, but instead to starving Confederate soldiers and citizens. His Southern accent is a bit contrived, but bearable. Widmark is able to convince Holden to change the route of the herd; however, the Union army is going to have to be contended with, as they know this herd was intended for them.

An easy film to watch, just don't put much historical truth with it.

Reviewed by theowinthrop 7 / 10

How the North Almost Lost the Civil War

This is a peculiar western turned American Civil War film. William Holden is Alverez Kelly, a citizen of Mexico of Irish ancestry, and a gentleman cattle herd leader. He has, we learn, had involvement with the U.S. before 1861 - 64. His father, the owner of a large estate in Mexico, was killed in the "Mexican War" (Holden says it has a different name in Mexico) by American troops, some of whom are now Confederates. But he is totally uninterested in the results of the war: he is a foreign citizen intent to sell cattle to the best payer. This means, however, that he has to deal with the Union more than the South (at one point he is asked if he doubts the value of Confederate currency, and starts telling the Confederate Secretary of War what one could do now with Confederate currency).

It is Holden's fortune that he gets a Union Army contract for 4500 steers that it takes him three months to bring up from Mexico. Unfortunately he is met by Major Steadmen (Patrick O'Neill) at the point where Holden felt he was supposed to deliver. Steadman is one of the most obnoxious men one can mingle with. A citizen of Boston, he was a lawyer before the war. He prides himself on being able to manipulate people by his brains (an example I will give in a moment). He drew up the contract, and in very fine print (he does apologize for it's tiny size), he had a clause added that the commanding General in the area that needs the meat can insist it be delivered there before payment. That is General Grant: the cattle have to be brought to Richmond.

Holden has no choice, but he will be paid. Unfortunately this leads to a 1,400 mile railway trip from Texas through the Midwest to Maryland and into Virginia - accompanied by Steadman. Earlier we saw Steadman as a stiff type - he had to wait an additional ten days for Kelly to appear at the point Kelly thought was delivery point, and does not like being kept waiting (even though the army would have been footing his bill in the border town). But on the ride he tells Kelly his "war stories" about being a lawyer in Massachusetts. The one we hear the great tail end of is about how he trumped a judge on a legal point in a case by use of a writ of certiorari (this legal document demands to know from the judge what is the statutory power the judge is using that is the grounds for his decision). I'm sure that most people would love to hear this type of story....

I'd love to know who the Masssachusetts Judge was. Hopefully, for Steadman's career sake, it was not Lemuel Shaw, the Chief Justice of the Commonwealth, a man of formidable mind and presence. He looks it from his photos. He was also the father-in-law of a one time sailor and writer, later a customs house man named Herman Melville. Shaw, had he been embarrassed by some idiotic glory seeking lawyer would have swallowed and remembered the idiot. And the idiot would have paid in the long-run throughout Massachusetts' court system.

The cattle are delivered at a plantation now in Union hands outside Richmond. But after Kelly is paid, he becomes a target of southerners led by Colonel Tom Rossiter (Richard Widmark). Rossiter sees all that wonderful meat nearby and wants it for the folks in Richmond and for Lee's forces. So he kidnaps Kelly (with the help of the plantation owner Charity Warwick (Victoria Shaw)), and Kelly soon is in Richmond being offered a chance to do the Confederacy a small aid by stealing the herd back.

Rossiter is no sweet guy, but a genuine patriot who has already sacrificed an eye for the Confederacy.* He uses methods as vile in their way as Steadman's (including intentional minor maiming) to force Kelly to help him. The interest in the film really centers on the mental warfare between Rossiter and Kelly, as each tries to see how far they can force the other back on track or off track. For Kelly sees that Rossiter's plan is a desperate last chance - and a long shot that he has no real concern about.

(*There actually was a noted Confederate Cavalry leader, General Thomas Rosser, who survived the war in tact and ended his career as an engineer on U.S. and Canadian railways. His last military action was in 1876 - he heard his pal George Custer (army differences forgiven) was killed at Little Big Horn. Rosser took leave from his job to join the U.S. forces seeking Crazy Horse's army)

The film is well acted and plotted actually - far better than other mad last gasp Confederate tales are (witness VIRGINIA CITY). Kelly finds a way to avenge his maiming through an act of kindness to Elizabeth Pickering (Janice Rule) Rossiter's fiancé. But in the end he is the one who wins - by getting the cattle to the right place, and finding out his own finer senses.

Also note the performances of two favorite character actors from television (usually), Howard Caine and Roger C. Carmel. Caine (best recalled as the nasty S.S. Major Hochstadter on HOGAN'S HEROS) is a northern spy who gets most of the cards in his hands, and deals the wrong answer out. Carmel (best recalled for his role as Kay Ballard's husband on THE MOTHERS - IN - LAW, or as Harry Mudd on STAR TREK) is Captain Fergusson, a clever Scotish Blockade Runner (for profit of course - like Rhett Butler was too). Both help enliven an above average adventure flick.

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