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Charro Edit

Sun Jan 15, 2006 4:04 am

I think the most glaring editing error is about an hour in.

Billy Roy is in Jail for shooting the Sherriff, Vince rides into town to look for him.

He finds him in Jail with Jess Wade guarding him.

they step outside where he is shown the men on the roofs with shotguns - he then smirks and says "you think I would come into this town naked as a jaybird"? He pulls out his pocket watch and says "just about time" and clicks the watch. The film then cuts to the entry of the Mexican Patrol and then to Jess and Vince headed back into the Jail.

It was here that at least in an early draft of the script the men on the roofs were shot at one by one from afar.

It makes no sense to say he came in to town without cover. to comment "just about time" and then for nothing to happen

Anyone else have an idea of what was missing?

My deduction comes from a book called "Starring Elvis" which contained short novellas of several Elvis films based on their early script drafts.

Sun Jan 15, 2006 5:34 pm

That's a good one Forever. I assumed he meant that the cavalry was his cover because they were after Jess. But it doesn't make much sense within the context of his comment. Thanks for clearing that up.

This btw is one of French's best moments in the movie. He gives the line a note of condescension that is just right, he's a man who takes pride in the fact that he can't be outthought and for anyone to insinuate otherwise is foolish.

Colin- I wonder what impact the '69 trifecta would have had on Elvis' career a few years earlier. As you comment in a way it was too LITTLE and too late. All these movies have promise in one war or another but they were unlikely to turn a career. If Elvis had been in say "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" that might have worked wonders. These movies as they were had promise but even at their best- my choice would be "Trouble"- they were good but not good enough. "Trouble With Girls" is IMO a nice little movie but nice slices of life generally don't make much of an impact at the box office especially if they are as subtle as this. As Dave Marsh noted about "Charro" "it was released in an era where even the best westerns were having trouble finding an audience and "Charro" wasn't one of the best westerns of this or any other era." "Change of Habit" was a social problems film and they generally don't find big box office either unless they are flamboyantly controversial like say "Blackboard Jungle".

I'm surprised "Change" didn't pull more people in theaters because of its controversial elements which included the parallels between Elvis and Jesus still controversial today, the nun love affair, nuns as undercover agents for God, and Mary Tyler Moore nearly getting raped. Perhaps its happy go lucky approach to social change made everything seem to lightweight to shock anyone.

Charro Edit

Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:56 am

From the book "Starring Elvis" edited by James W Bowser Published October 1977.

Charro (pg 246-247)

While Billy Roy still jabbered the other two stepped out into the street together. Jess indicated the armed men on the rooftops. But, Vicen threw back his head and laughed.

"You forget how I operate Jess? Think I'd come in here naked as a jaybird?" He puleed a fob watch from his pocket and glanced at it. "Just about time now."

He had no sooner spoken than a brace of rifle shots cracked from the bleak hills up behind the town. Joslyn, caught in the hip, spun and dropped his gun. Tilford tottered and plunged from his roof perch. The other two sentinals dove flat.

"I want him out Jess." Vince did not raise his voice. "Right now."

Jess's reply came even softer. "He stays".

"And what about them?" Vince gestured up the sunbaked street. Just cantering into view came the Mexican patrol, led by it's Lieutenant. They reined in by the watering trough, weary, dusted with deset alkali to let their horses drink.

"They're coming to ask about a man with a new shotmark on his neck Jess."

Jess stepped back thru the open door , drew his .45 and leveled it calmly at a suddenly shrinking Billy Roy, "You just make sure he doesn't Vince.

Here is where "Let's Forget About The Stars would have been - thank goodness they cut it or didn't film it


Starring Elvis (pg 242)

this takes place after Billy Roy shoots Sheriff Ramsey and takes place in the Sherriff's house as the Doctor Opie Keech is tending his wounds.


The Seriff lay on his bed, perhaps dying, with his wife Sarah hovering anguishedly nearby and Opie Keech - the town's barber and medic of sort - trying to force whiskey into his patient before probing for two bullets. He read Jess's unspoken query.

"How can I tell how Dan is? He's got a pulse, that's all."

Tracy, who had aslo followed the wounded man home, caught Jess's searching glance about the room and knew what he sought. Wordlessly, she collected Dan's guitar from a closet. Standing at the bed's foot, Jess began to strum a ballad he and Dan had harmonized ofen together. Weakly, the Sheriff's lips began to move to the tune.

When it was over Jess poured a shot of whiskey and held it to Ramsey's mouth, he smiled and swallowed obediently.

"You sing no better than when we were fishing the river Jess." he whispered.

"You sing better, Tonight I couldn't hear you."

Now Opie, seeing the whiskey take effect moved in to probe a second time.

The scene continues with what we know with Ramsey deputising Jess and telling hiim not to let Billy Roy loose.


Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:27 am

That's way cool. Is this book widely available? Is the source the novel "Charro" or the screenplay? Seems like the screenplay with the coincidence of Jess having to sing a song.

Does Jess telling Vince to make sure the commander doesn't ask about a man with a wound on his neck indicate complicity in the commander's murder? Just asking an opinion.

Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:31 am

Found a link to the book on Amazon - go here - a must buy at that price!! ... e&n=283155

I bought the paperback in 1977 when it was published and have never seen it since - I was surprised to find it on Amazon with the above link.

My impression is that the author turned the screenplays into short stories. The giveaway is the verbatim dialogue with the film.

My opionion is no - Jess couldn't have known that Vince would lead them into an ambush. My thinking is that Jess's intention was for Vince to talk them out of wanting to see the Sherriff.

did you ever notice that Elvis never fires a shot in the whole movie. Pretty stupid for a western don't you think.

There mustn't have been a budget for bullets.

I don't know about you but when I am analysing Elvis films I always think of them in two ways - compared against each other, compared to other films of the time period.

When you compare Charro to other Elvis films it is a notch above many of his solely because it is different. But when compared to anything else from the time period it really does suck. No real violence for a western, no suspense, a poor script, wooden acting (on everyone's part - well except Sturges who overacts) and overbearing score, poor editing - I could go on on on on on on on .

Just have a look at these Five westerns from the same time period

The Good The Bad and the Ugly
Once Upon A Time In the West
True Grit
The Wild Bunch
Support Your Local Sherriff

I think Elvis would have been great in the Western parody - Support Your Local Sherriff or as the Texas ranger allied with John Wayne in True Grit.

Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:08 pm

Thanks for the link. I disagree about the acting as I thought French was terrific. The other performances are mostly wooden except Sturges and Sikking. With the exceptions I mentioned, this may well be the very worst supporting cast in any Elvis movie although Balin once had a very sexy guest appearance on "Dick Van Dyke".

Elvis does fire several shots. In the opening in the bar and he kills Sikking at the end who then blows up in perhaps the movie's most imaginative sequence. I always base my opinions on an overall scale. Sometimes for something like "Speedway" that will be basically if you like Elvis you'll like this. You know what I mean, if you have a taste for Elvis it's enjoyable enough. The point is that I could say that about many star vehicles. Something like "Change of Habit" and "Charro" is undoubtedly most interesting to Elvis fans because of their novelty value but I don't really feel the need to place a qualification on solid entertainments like "Kid Galahad" or "Trouble With Girls".

I can't picture anybody but James Garner in Sheriff. That's his niche'.

A big difference between "Charro" and the pictures you mentioned is that all try to break away from the traditional western format. "Charro" tries to cling to it.

One thing we forgot to comment on was if it was the right decision to keep the songs out. To me, there is no way they could have gotten them in here.

Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:24 pm

I haven't seen "Charro" in years, but may have to seek it out.

The book mentioned above also seems of interest.

Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:32 pm

I've never seen Charro - but would desperately like to. The whole film, while clearly something of a third-rate B movie at best, endlessly intrigues me. I'd kill for a copy of the poster with the bearded Elvis and that stonkin' tagline on my wall!

There's a new book coming out in the Spring about Charro, in fact: ... arro.shtml

likethebike, I enjoyed your review. It's good to see such an oft-ignored film get spotlighted. One thing you neglected to talk about, however, was the actual soundtrack. Although the fact that Elvis was required to sing in his films was clearly a point of contention, the soundtracks are an essential part of each movie's fabric and production history. In the case of Charro, we have a sweet ballad that never made the cut and an absolutely marvellous title song. I was blown away the first time I heard the title track! The lyrics and arrangement are superb. I dare say the song evokes the plains and the sense of fear/desperation more than the actual film! It's a wonderful recording - from the pounding drums paired with the shimmering strings which cast an inevitability over the whole song to the brutal rawness of Elvis' vocal which is quite unlike anything else I've heard from a studio recording of his. Brilliant!

Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:46 pm

This is the most boring Elvis film you can imagine. OK, it's a drama. OK, Elvis doesn't sing. But nothing happens in that film. It's simply boring and Elvis knew it. I guess Elvis could have been a serious actor, but not in a film like this.


Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:15 pm

The beard, the branding scene and the boobies intrigue me. All the "B"s, in fact. (OK - so you don't really see boobies - but I had to throw that in for thematic consistency).

Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:53 pm

:twisted: Maybe someday we'll see the hardcore version of "Charro!" with all the sex and violence you can imagine. :twisted:

Sat Jan 28, 2006 12:57 pm the outtakes there are parts of boobs, and full backside.

but dammit, it's some chick. i don't want to see that.

now elvis in the shower in live a little, love a little...SURE!

when i get around to seeing charro...i admit, i'll just be watching to see elvis with a beard (i think it looks good on him, and i don't even like beards--scruffy is good though).

Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:35 am

Pretty good , John!

That's the rest of the footage (after the bathtub) that I posted from Mike McCoy's site earlier.

Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:43 am

Cryogenic, people have opinions, but charro was good for my eyes. i watched it a few more times after the first, and it is WAAAAAAAAAAAAY better than those sloppy musicals like 'clambake' and 'spin out' etc that become un breable to watch after a while. its Elvis, totally changed, bearded, not singing, in a dramatic role. if u can sniff out of a copy, go for it :wink:

Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:52 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:That's the rest of the footage (after the bathtub) that I posted from Mike McCoy's site earlier.

Mike McCoy's site?

Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:02 pm

Whoops, sorry, Keith. I posted your link on the first page.

I must have been thinking of those (fake) "outtakes" Mike has up of "Change of Habit," etc. :lol:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:11 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:here's hoping the (silent) "nude scene" from "Charro" is stitched into any future DVD release!

Yeah, that would be great wouldn't it? :wink:

Complete Nude Scene

Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:43 pm

Well, well, well....! :lol:

Thanks for the visuals, Keith!

Thu Feb 09, 2006 2:28 am

A "B" movie indeed! For nice Buns! :twisted:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:13 am

Wouldn't it have been great to see Elvis in a really adult film, with proper grown-up language and storyline.

Too late now.

Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:05 pm

Thanks for posting the clip, Keith. I've watched the sequence three times, and I think it's a body double for Ina Balin. Anyone else think so?

Thu Feb 09, 2006 6:30 pm

Watched it three times, eh?

Better keep that body to hands or hands to body as someone once said. :lol:

I agree: it does look like a stunt double.

And today, that clip could easily make a post-9pm network broadcast of that film, if that could somehow happen...

Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:58 pm

I think it was three. Maybe it was more, I don't remember. :roll:

Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:35 am

What i really like is the title song: CHARRO ! one of the best songs he ever recorded for soundtracks, mystery opening, great lyrics, great compose & Elvis vocal sounds full !
The movie is good but not in my 10 Elvis best & favorite movies

Re: Charro

Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:55 am

I'm going to break out the DVD on this soon as I've never actually watched it.

Too bad there is no "outtakes" section!