Bandolero! starring Jimmy Stewart, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch, George Kennedy
In Bandolero!, James Stewart and Dean Martin are brothers who kidnap Raquel Welch and head for Mexico, pursued by George Kennedy
Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart): I don’t imagine your pa ever mentioned shooting people, and burning their house down, and stealing, and things like that?
Pop Chaney (Will Geer): Well, I’m talking about mannerly things Mr. Bishop. I ain’t talking about making a living.
Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart): Why do you ride with men like these?
Dee Bishop (Dean Martin): Oh, I don’t know. I just got used to it, I guess, through the years. You begin one way, you keep going that way, and pretty soon there’s no other way.
Maria Stoner (Raquel Welch): I thought he was your friend?
Dee Bishop (Dean Martin): He is, but that don’t make him any less disgusting. You take Pop, for instance. He was due to be shot the day he was born. And that heart of his is nothing more but a festering sore.
Dee Bishop (Dean Martin): To tell you the truth…
Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart): Yeah, yeah, liars always start that way.
Dee Bishop (Dean Martin): [incredulous] You robbed a bank? You, Mace?
Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart): Well, Dee, the bank was there… and I was there… and there wasn’t very much of anybody else there… and it just seemed like the thing to do. Y’know, it’s not like you didn’t – something you never heard of. Lots of people rob banks for all sorts of different reasons.
Dee Bishop (Dean Martin): [bemused] You just walked into a bank and helped yourself to ten thousand dollars ’cause it seemed like the thing to do?
Mace Bishop (Jimmy Stewart): That’s about the way it was, yeah, as, as well as I can remember, yeah.
Editorial review of Bandolero! courtesy of Amazon.com
Bandolero! peaks early, with a long, immensely satisfying opening half-hour in which cowpoke James Stewart saves his bank-robber brother (Dean Martin) from the hangman’s noose… by strolling into town and masquerading as the hangman. As the brothers depart into Mexico, with a comely hostage (Raquel Welch) in tow, the action becomes more conventional. It’s handsomely shot on eye-filling locations by outdoorsy veteran Andrew V. McLaglen (clever Jerry Goldsmith score, too). George Kennedy plays the lovelorn sheriff in pursuit, leading his half-hearted posse through bandito territory.
Credibility suffers with Raquel’s fabulous hair, which weathers kidnapping and life on the dusty trail with an unlikely sheen. Stewart and Martin, meanwhile, are too casual to allow the already-relaxed story to build up any real heat. For Western fans, the opening should make it worthwhile, even if it eventually becomes apparent why this one isn’t considered a classic. —Robert Horton