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Charro

 

 

Shooting began July 22, 1968 and completed late August 1968

Opened nationally March 13, 1969

Character:  Jess Wade

Executive Producer: Harry Caplan

Producer: Charles Marquis Warren

Director: Charles Marquis Warren

 

Plot:

Jess Wade is a reformed badman, pitted against the members of his old gang. The gang is now led by Vince Hackett, who takes delight in terrorizing a small Mexican town. The gang has stolen from the town a gold-plated cannon that was used by Emperor Maximilian in his ill-fated fight against popular Mexican leader Benito Juarez. The gang's motive is to force a ransom from the town for the cannon, but the gang also uses the cannon to hold the townspeople at bay. Only Wade can save the people from his former gang. 

 

Songs:

"Charro"-Sung over the opening credits.

 

Cast:

Jess Wade - Elvis Presley

Tracy Winters - Ina Balin

Vince Hackett - Victor French

Marcie - Lynn Kellogg

Sara Ramsey - Barbara Werle

Billy Rocy Hackett - Solomon Sturges

Opie Keetch - Paul Brinegar

Gunner - James Sikking

Heff - Harry Landers

Lieutenant Rivera - Tony Young

Sheriff Dan Ramsey - James Almanzar

Mody - Charles H. Gray

Linge - Rodd Redwing

Martin Tilford - Garry Walberg

Gabe - Duane Grey

Henry Carter - J. Edward McKinley

Jerome Selby - John Pickard

Will Joslyn - Robert Luster

Christa - Christa Lang

Harvey, the Bartender - Robert Karnes

Bit Girls - Kathleen Darc, Jacqui Brandt, Megan Timothy

Mexican Peon - Charlie Hodge

 

Production Notes:

Principal photography took place near Apache Junction, AZ. Most of the filming took place in and around the Superstition Mountains. Interiors were done at MGM's Culver City studios. 

Elvis stayed at the Superstition Inn outside of Phoenix while on location.

Costumes for Charro! were provided by the Bermans Costume Company.

Charro! was previewed in several Southern states before its general release. The states of Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana declared Charro! Day. 

One title originally considered for Charro! was Come Hell, Come Sundown.

In twenty-five southwestern cities, "Charro girl" Contests were held to publicize the film. Finalists appeared in Dallas, and Austin. Texas Governor Preston Smith hosted a special Charro! salute in Austin in conjunction with the contest.

Advertising used lines such as "On his neck he wore the brand of a killer. On his hip he wore vengeance" and "A different kind of role...a different kind of man."

Charro! was the only movie in which Elvis wore a beard.

Trivia:

When frisked by Billy Roy Hackett in front of the cantina, Jess had six dollars in his billfold.

Charro! was set in 1870. 

According to the wanted posters, Jess Wade was six-foot-two inches tall.

Dan Ramsey had been the sheriff of Rio Seco for twelve years.

Vince Hackett's fellow gang member Gunner was a former cannoneer in the Confederate army. According to Gunner, General Stonewall Jackson once said he was "the best-in front of the whole regiment, he said it."

In the novel, Charro! Jess Wade's horse was named Charlie. The horse was unnamed in the film.

Rio Seco provided the setting for Charro!

The Victory Gun was the Napoleonic, twelve-pound cannon covered with bronze, silver, and gold. The Victory Gun was the cannon that fired the last shot against Mexican ruler Ferdinand Maximilian, setting the country free from his rule. Vince Hackett and his boys stole the cannon from the Chapultepec Palace on July 8, 1870.

A reward of $10,000 was offered by the Mexican and American governments for the capture of Jess Wade.

The Victory Gun was estimated in value of $100,000.

 

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