USA Today - 04/13/2001
"...A lark of a Western...with a fabulous cast..."
In Robert Aldrich's action-packed Western, Benjamin Trane (Gary Cooper) and Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster) are American soldiers of fortune hired by the Austrian ruler of Mexico, Maximilian, to safeguard a royal convoy transporting gold and an Austrian countess to the port of Vera Cruz. Things get complicated for the mercenaries when they begin to mistrust one another--and when Erin starts to fall for the countess. Aldrich throws a bit of European exotica into the standard oater formula of guns, grit, and gold to create a striking, memorable film that showcases the acting talents of Cooper and Lancaster, two monumental Hollywood stars. The director also sprinkles some trenchant historical commentary into his powder-keg narrative by showing the Hapsburg empire's bumbling attempt to annex Mexico.