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Westerns - John Wayne - The Undefeated


John Wayne - The Fox Westerns
The Undefeated
Rock Hudson, Lee Meriwether, Roman Gabriel
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
20th Century Fox 1969
Fox Home Video 2008
118 minutes

The Undefeated is in many ways what most people think about when they think of a John Wayne western: grandiose scenery, heroic music this time by Hugh Montenegro, noble characters, and lots of shooting at bad guys and the French army. This Andrew V. McLaglen movie is one of Wayne's many better efforts but got lost in the dust of True Grit released the same year.

The Undefeated comes in the John Wayne The Fox Westerns box set with NOrth To Alaska, The Comancheros, and a 2 DVD version of The Big Trail.

In the days immediately after the Civil War noble Union Colonel Thomas (John Wayne) resigns his commission and heads south and west to get wild horses for the army. He encounters Confederate Colonel James Langdon (Rock Hudson) who has lost everything in the war and is now leading his family, friends, and a party to Mexico to hire out his services to the Mexican army.

Both parties find themselves in Mexico where the former Union and Confederate soldiers must join forces to fight some Mexican bandits standing between them and their destination.

Throw in a love interest conflict between Colonel Langdon's daughter(Lee Meriwether), a Southern beau played by Jan Michael Vincent, and an Indian scout working for the John Wayne and you have another potential fight there.

The Undefeated has its share of humorous moments like the all-our brawl between the soldiers from the two former armies and a couple of comic characters and moments here and there.

Just when the movie seems to have fallen in a bit of a rut there is a dramatic turn of events involving Juarez and Mexican Emperor Maximilian that causes more trouble.

There is historical value to this western DVD as it touches on the post Civil War era and shows the viewer elements and moments not often seen in such movies such as Northeners invading the south trying to buy the now broke landowners' properties on the cheap.

This is a very entertaining western that stands out because of Rock Hudson, John Wayne, and an original, well-written story.

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