Civil War western. After a long drive to deliver cattle to the Unionists, Alvarez Kelly (William Holden) is kidnapped by Confederate colonel Tom Rossiter (Richard Widmark).
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# Alvarez Kelly...
# ..rode over the rise
# With a heart full of blarney
# And a gleam in his eyes
# And wherever he stopped The gals kept droppin' like flies
# Till a lady from Richmond cut him down to size
# War is hell, without a doubt
# But Kelly never found that out
# Or if'n he did he seldom gave a damn
# For when he met a pretty gal In Texas, Tennessee or Al...
# He'd kiss 'em and wink and whisper "Thank you, ma'am!"
# Alvarez Kelly
# The Irish senor
# Kept pursuin' his hobbies While pursuin' the war
# Give him rum in a glass And some fair lass to adore
# And he couldn't care less What they were fighting for!
# Alvarez Kelly
-# I'll say it once more
-Say it once more!
# Alvarez Kelly...
# The I-I-I Irish senor! #
COWBOYS WHOOP AND WHISTLE
Hey! It's over the hill!
Hey, we made it, amigos!
HE HUMS TUNELESSLY
-When you're ready to talk business, Kelly, I'll be at my hotel.
-Oh, you're Steadman?
Major Steadman. Sorry.
Major, I'll got the most marvellous beef in the world for you.
-The best beef in all of Mexico - no, Sanchez?
-Seguro que si.
Of course, they're a little thin by now, but it's been a long walk.
-A few days in the pasture and...
-You were late, Mr Kelly, ten miserable days
in this stinking hot town.
Is it Vermont or Massachusetts?
If you're asking where I'm from, I'll tell you, it's Boston - one long way from this prairie rat-hole.
Well, there are certain compensations, major, in a railroad town.
-As a matter of fact, I was hoping you might have brought a couple of them along.
I don't happen to be a procurer, Mr Kelly.
Whiskey or sherry?
I'm here on business, Mr Kelly.
United States Army business. And I'm waiting from an explanation.
What were you in civilian life?
-A lawyer. And I'm still waiting from an explanation.
-You've never driven cattle.
Hardly(!) Three months, Major.
Not ten days.
Three months staring into the rear end of those beeves,
smelling their stink, choking on their dust, listening to their damned bellowing night and day.
I'm a reasonable man.
If I weren't, I might go over to the other side and see how THEIR manners are.
You'd do business with the Confederates?
Their money's no good.
(Kelly. What's he doing?)
If I'm not mistaken, someone's stealing my wine.
I thought you were a soldier, not a sheriff!
You like my wine, Paco?
I like it if you do, eh?
It cost 5 a bottle. That's 10 out of your pay.
And since you're a generous man,
-you're share the rest of it with your friends here.
-THE OTHERS CHEER
I don't understand you. I don't understand you at all.
A thief should be punished.
Sanchez, we'll have dinner now.
And take a few more bottles of wine out to our friends.
He's a lonely thief, Steadman, trying to celebrate after a rough journey.
He'll be happy to go home. They all will. And so will I.
I'm afraid you what be going home quite yet, Mr Kelly.
There's been a change of orders. You're to take the cattle by rail to Virginia and deliver them
to a plantation 30 miles south of Richmond. There's pasturage You'll be paid on arrival.
-That's not in the agreement, Major. I was to bring the cattle and no further.
-The war's in a new phase.
We're concentrating on Richmond. When we take it, we've won.
I don't care who wins.
If you want that herd in Virginia, it'll cost you 5 per head extra.
I'm authorised to pay you 1 a head extra and not a penny more.
That's not army beef yet, Major, not until I get paid off on my contract.
The contract specifies... in rather small print, however...
"Payment shall be made when the beef is delivered to the area deemed most urgent by the commanding general."
Which, at the moment, is 30 miles south of Richmond. You're find that quite in order. I prepared it myself,
even specifying the size of the print. Those steers are going east, Mr Kelly.
TRAIN HORN HOOTS
WORDS SLURRED: By Godfrey, that judge, he thought he had me licked.
LICKED, Kelly. But he underestimated the man he was dealing with.
I hit that judge... I hit him...
with a writ of cess...uary.
It was a brilliant bolt out of the black, a tiger springing, a writ of certiorari!
Play cards, Steadman.
COWBOYS WHISTLE AND WHOOP
LOW WHISTLE Thousands of 'em.
Yeah, the boys in blue are gonna eat beef tonight.
And tomorrow night and next month - till it's comin' outta their craws.
Maybe it's just our empty stomachs making us see what ain't there.
Colonel, how about me going down and bringing back some proof? Just to make it official.
My orders are to scout that herd.
Just make sure the Yanks don't scout ME.
This is always an embarrassing time.
I'm sure you're handle it with your customary tact.
-Take over, Captain.
Major Steadman, ma'am.
I'm Charity Warwick.
This is Alvarez Kelly, who brought the cattle here.
I was ordered to arrange quarters for the two of you.
Your men can camp in the field below the house. Mr Kelly, the grazing is best in the north pasture.
You may eat in my dining room tonight, Major. From tomorrow you'll kindly make other arrangements.
Er, Mrs Warwick, would you join us for dinner?
-Nice try, Steadman, but I don't think you...
-She's a LADY, Kelly.
A great lady. One rarely has the privilege to meet such a...
-What does that mean?
-Pick up those strays!
-I'll get 'em!
HE WHISTLES Yah, yah!
Go get that meat!
MURMUR OF LARGE CROWD
-Cleaton Warwick must be rolling around in his grave!
I bet this is the first time his place has been lit up like that since...Manassas
-Colonel, eat this while it's still hot.
-That man who brought the cattle in...
-Colonel, I promise you...
That man really knew his business. Moved that herd like it was a column of infantry.
That's prime beef, Johnny.
And there's enough down there to feed a lot of people...
..who haven't chewed on meat in a long, long time.
..38, 39, 40.
Now, with the £10,000 advance paid you in Mexico, that makes a grand total of 50,000.
That completes our original contract.
Plus the...additional 2,500.
If you're just sign here.
-Buying beef at three dollars a head...
-..and selling them for 20(!)
-I suppose now you're got to some nice, safe place and count your profits.
-Spend it, Steadman,
spend it and enjoy it.
And when it's all gone, raise it again.
You make it sound simple.
It is, if you don't want it too bad.
Money, whiskey and women, your three deities. Tell me something, Mr Kelly.
Has it made you a happy man?
But not as miserable a one as you.
Ah, Mrs Warwick.
Dinner is served, gentlemen.
-How nice! You've changed your mind.
-A lady's privilege.
-Well, your privilege is our pleasure, ma'am.
I got hungry.
..Driving thousands of half-wild animals across thousands of miles -
to someone brought up in this part of the country, it seems almost impossible. I have such respect
-for special knowledge.
-I hear you know how to charge for it.
-Do you object to someone making money, Miss Charity?
-In wartime? I think so.
-Making money out of war, it's almost an act of nature.
-Do you have any idea
what a major's salary is?
I wasn't talking about that.
But what about a colonel's salary? And the prestige afterward.
-You're carry that rank into every courtroom for the rest of your life.
-I didn't go to war for that.
No, but you'll use it. Every man, in his own special way, takes care of number one.
-I don't admire men like that, Mr Kelly.
if there were a kind of profit driven right into your own backyard,
would there be any reason not to take advantage of it?
-What d'you mean by that?
-I would say it's a matter of the north pasture.
The north p...? You're talking in riddles.
Do you, ma'am?
I don't understand.
I was curious. When Mrs Warwick specified the north pasture,
I wanted to know the reason why.
The soil, Major, is overworked, dying
for the lack of...fertiliser.
But I still don't...
I didn't know you were a farmer, Mr Kelly.
Oh, I was raised on a farm, my father's estancia in Texas.
Estancia. What a lovely word.
So is caridad.
Yes, it was lovely. It was lovely and...big...
50 families lived on it. My father was like a lord, like an Irish lord.
Yet this virtuous Irish lord was not quite able to stop his son from turning pirate, was he, Mr Kelly(?)
Make jokes, Steadman, about the war, about God and about me,
but don't make jokes about my father.
He was killed defending our home.
The Mexican War, I think you called it. We had other names for the theft of a piece of our country.
The officers wore the same uniform you have on, Major, only some of them now have changed it to grey.
So I said, "Alvarez Kelly,
"take what you can from either side. A small return for your birthright."
Beg pardon, ma'am.
-What is it, Lieutenant?
-A guard stumbled across one of our drovers. Smashed in the face, unconscious.
-We're 30 miles behind the lines!
-They stopped to butcher a steer.
-Where the hell were the sentries?
All right, let's go.
The poor major. He finds duty more fascinating than...
Do you undress every woman you meet, Mr Kelly?
There has to be some degree of beauty.
Then it's no special compliment.
Being a beautiful woman is compliment enough.
From what you say about your father's...estancia,
it must've been something like it was here before the war.
Very much like it.
It might be interesting to buy some land around here.
Not to help rebuild, though, not to LIVE. Just to buy cheap and sell dear.
It's a nuisance to do it the other way around.
You disappoint me, Mr Kelly.
After what happened to your home, I'd think your sympathies would be with us.
I have no sympathies, only instincts. And they shy away from losers.
-I am overstaying my welcome. You must be tired.
-You underestimate yourself, Mr Kelly.
Thank you for the evening.
-How long since you've been with a woman, Mr Kelly?
My husband's been dead three years.
So there was someone under the bed all the time.
Hatcher - the money.
I got just as many men outside.
-I warn you, I'm a Mexican national.
-Doin' business with the Yanks.
Obliged, Mr Kelly.
Just how far would you have gone?
You bastards could've waited a while longer.
Good night, Charity.
Take care, Tom. God bless.
-God bless, Charity.
Oh, Mrs Warwick.
Good night and God bless.
KNOCK AT DOOR
You had visitors.
Old friends of mine.
Old, dear friends.
-Why did they take Kelly?
-For the money, wouldn't you say?
They didn't have to kidnap him to get his money.
-Perhaps they didn't want to shoot him in front of me.
-Shoot him - shoot him for what?!
Well, the way THEY see it, Mr Kelly committed an act of war against the Confederacy.
-Of course, they're prejudiced.
-..did you know about this?
-Of course, I saw it happen.
-No, I mean beforehand. I mean aiding and abetting.
-Oh, that difficult lawyer talk, Major!
Mr Kelly was certainly riled.
Alvarez Kelly hijacked by Rebel...
You appreciate that, Major?
-Get back to camp, fast as you can.
-STRAIGHT back. We've had our enjoyment for the evening.
Turn 'em around, boys!
-Now that that's over, would you mind telling me what that's all about?
-Uh-uh. Not yet.
-Tell this ape to keep his hands off me.
-I may choose not to.
-You may choose to die, too.
You would give up those pretty little stripes for that privilege, wouldn't you, Sergeant?
As long as you knew my hands were tied(!)
Rossiter, we both know you didn't bring me this far to shoot me.
For some reason, you want me alive and in one piece.
-You know, Mr Kelly, you talk too much. Get in.
I'd just like to tell you a little something.
This river winds all the way to Richmond. Now, if I was to put you to sleep,
you'd miss some of the prettiest scenery in all Virginia.
Colonel, in my inside pocket - where my money used to be -
there's a cigar. You could get it for me.
Or better yet... I could get it for myself.
Bust 'im, Colonel, sir!
Make him shut his big mouth.
A Confederate man-o'-war(?)
Kelly, we've got to have that beef! The army and the whole South is starving.
-hat's your problem, not mine.
-If hungry people don't mean anything to you, this should!
-That already belongs to me.
-We'll double it.
-In gold, Colonel?
-Are you suggesting our currency is no good, sir?
Shall I tell you what for? Colonel, I have to hand it to you. You're not just HALF mad.
Now, how do you figure you're gonna get 2,500 head of cattle over Grant's lines? By balloon(?)
Nope. We don't have that many balloons.
All right, we can't get over 'em.
But we can got around.
We can make this big circle...
come up BEHIND the plantation. All we have to do is shoo those cattle back the way we came.
-Just...shoo them back(?)
You know there's a small army guarding those steers. How do you expect to get them without a fight?
-I'll handle the military, you handle the herd.
-Then you'll do it, Mr Kelly?
I intend to die in bed in the arms of a beautiful woman.
We... We all share that wish, sir.
I do not intend to die from a Yankee bullet.
So I say to hell with it, Colonel.
You're not walking out of here.
This city's swarming with spies.
And you know our plan.
Worth nothing. You couldn't even try it without me.
# I never like to kiss I never like to kiss...
# I never like to kiss more than one girl at a time... #
Oh, look at the soldier-boy(!)
I like cockroaches with my soup.
A speciality of the house. You about ready to leave?
Not under YOUR terms. But I've got some advice for you, Colonel.
Yeah? What's that?
Nobody's even gonna start to move that herd out without drovers -
-like the kind I have.
-My Comanches can handle it.
Top riders, formed under Jeb Stuart.
Any Texans among them? Cowhands?
They're Virginians, and there's no damn thing anyone can do on a horse that they can't match.
No, except maybe drive a cow out of a closet.
Takes a long time to train a drover.
Jailer! Open up.
Mr Kelly, your education's been sadly neglected
But you're not charging the enemy.
You're pushing cattle.
-And for that, you need trained cowboys.
-These is warhorses, mister.
I reckon they can handle them little old cows.
All right, Lieutenant, why don't you take your warhorses and push those little old cows to the back corral?
Your permission, Colonel?
Come on, cow, git!
MEN CHEER AND YELL
Come on, cow, get in there! You darn fool cow - get in there!
GO ON! GET IN THERE! Damn it!
You darn fool cow, get in there!
-Colonel, where the hell did you get these cows?
-Move 'em out!
Go on, get outta here, get outta here!
MEN CHEER AND JEER
All right, you darn fool cow!
MEN FALL SILENT
-What's that, sir?
-I said sound retreat!
Close the gate!
Get those cattle, go on! Get after them.
There are 2,500 head of Mexican range-bred steers on that plantation -
-stupid, temperamental and a lot more vicious then anything here.
-All right, so we got plenty to learn.
But you can train us.
Damn you, Kelly! You're gonna train us!
Back to jail.
-Are you coming in or am I going out?
-General Lee has approved the raid.
That makes you the only missing link.
Missing's the word.
That's a lot of cash to carry around, Colonel. be safer in a bank.
I'll give you permission to open an account in m...
They'll be butchering and eating that herd before long.
I figure you got no more than ten days to get us ready.
Burn it all!
Ten days before we start.
God deliver me from dedicated men(!)
You used to have ten fingers. Now you got nine.
Tomorrow, you'll have eight.
You stay stubborn the day after that, you'll have seven. The day after that...
It's up to you.
You decide whether you wanna end up with a pair of stumps
or lend us your talent.
..Get a doctor.
OK, get those back. Get 'em together.
He drives hard,
I'm glad to say.
Don't split 'em up! Slow down, there, take it easy with 'em!
I deplore what happened, Colonel. However, under the circumstances...
It was necessary.
Still, there's a time for sandpaper and a time for silk.
From now on, I think we'd be wise to cater to his tastes.
I wanna borrow a hat.
Tool of the trade.
Will mine do?
Oh, Mr Kelly. I'd be honoured if you'd accept the hospitality of my home for the remainder of your visit.
I believe you'd find the accommodations more cheerful than your present quarters.
-And the bourbon?
You gentlemen have a way of making it hard for me to refuse.
Who am I?
You're a rich land speculator looking for bargains.
Seems to me I heard you mention something like that.
-Yes. Yes, that'll go down well with anyone who's curious.
As a matter of fact, Mrs Harrison is having a soiree next week. Nothing pretentious, of course.
Oh, certainly not. Not in starving Richmond(!)
-I can't offer you a clean shirt, but we'll take care of the one you've got.
..OK, now watch this...
When he moves to your house...
..one of my men goes with him.
Oh, Mr Kelly, I couldn't.
I'd love to, but I just couldn't. I'm spoken for.
-By a sea-farin' monster who could shrivel a girl right up!
Er, since you and I are only going to be friends...
-I think it's only fair that you turn me over to her.
-You're really runnin' in luck tonight.
It's not the same, is it?
-I'll bet you could tell me if you really wanted to.
-Uh-uh! Military secret.
-Damn the military
-and damn their secrets.
-I suppose it's very dangerous, of course?
-Not as dangerous as you.
The way you look tonight, you could start pandemonium in the streets.
And that perfume!
But you do prefer a horse-sweat.
-Oh, Tommy, I'm sorry, but I see you so seldom.
You know, that's what I hate most about the Yanks. They keep us apart.
-Hmm...I understand married officers have more leave than single ones.
-But what if one of those nasty ol' Yanks threw a speck o' dust in my other eye?
-How would you look
-leading a blind man down the street?
-Probably as foolish as you sound talking about it.
-Thank you, ma'am.
Who is he?
Rich businessman from Mexico.
Friend of the Harrisons.
But not a friend of yours.
Tom, what's the matter?
I don't know.
I guess the war's the matter.
Oh, the war's the matter with all of us.
Mr Kelly, this is Captain Angus Ferguson of Glasgow
-Isn't he magnificent?
Oh! Oh, it's good when they adore you, especially when they're half yer age.
Or d'ye think it could be, Mr Kelly, the wee gifties are bringin' in the ship? The French perfumes
-and the silk nighties?
-Oh, come on, lass, I'm no use in a ballroom. There are many stout lads
-to stretch your muscles.
-If you don't put your arm around me this minute, I'll take you up on it.
-I'll dance the whole night through with ye...in my rooms at the Spottiswood Hotel.
-Angus, you devil!
No use telling her it's my farewell night, is there? Not till morning.
Which one of you would help me make an old sea-dog jealous?
-Rank does have its responsibilities.
Go ahead, darling.
..And so I weigh anchor tomorrow evening, courtesy of Secretary Harrison,
after four months' wait and a good deal more effort than a Scotsman cares to spend.
For mercy's sake, no, Mr Kelly!
That stuff would distemper a whale.
Here, you take a taste o' this.
Blessed nectar from Scotland.
-Would you believe it, sir, there are a thousand barrels of that aboard my ship?
-Sounds like paradise.
-I was commissioned to run it here, but found, och...
-Confederate money isn't worth a match to burn it with.
Aye. So I'll take it up to New York. Heavens, Mr Kelly. Don't tell me the currency there is still wampum(?)
Mr Kelly, you've my flask!
If I may suggest, Miss Pickering, the punch is pale.
-This will improve the colour.
-You're gallant enough to be a Virginian.
And your beauty goes beyond the bounds of geography.
-I'm Alvarez Kelly.
-And you've learned MY name and a few particulars.
-You short-changed yourself.
-You could remedy that.
Are you any kind of gambler, Kelly?
I've lost my last few bets.
Will you come to my house later?
I need some advice. It can't very well be given here.
Number 19 Royale Street. Make sure there's no carriage outside.
Why, Mr Kelly, whatever happened to your hand?!
One of the bets I lost.
Darling, I think he's rather charming.
-Playing with fire, aren't you, lad?
It's not my house.
CORK POPS SOFTLY
Now, follow me. With all of the beautiful women that were here tonight...
Well, the result is, I don't feel much like sleeping.
Do you know what I mean?
I don't know how to put it to your delicate ears, but in Richmond...
(there must be a house of joy.)
Mm, there's a few.
Now, let me guess what your orders were.
"Let him do what he wants, but don't let him out of your sight." Right?
Let's be off, two men of the world.
You even seen him before?
No. But I wish I had.
You know, Kelly, you might not like these women. I understand Mexicans like their women...fat and dumpy.
-Relax, Hatcher. You can't make me angry tonight.
-What part of Mexico, Amigo?
SOFT MUSIC PLAYS
You're the one I want.
A bottle of your best wine!
-Hatcher, this is where I draw the line.
It may take all night.
Shall I take it off?
The wedding ring.
Some like it on, some like it off. You men are peculiar.
-What do you do in case of fire?
-I... I don't know - we never had one.
Suppose you had one right now.
-Oh, there's a window with a big old wisteria right by it.
Now, look. I want you to stay here all night...
..and improve your mind.
Your body's already perfect.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Come in, sir.
Miss Pickering will be down in a minute, sir.
This is my Japanese room - uncluttered.
Does she have to stay here?
You can go to bed now, Ellie.
Why, Kelly, whatever are you thinking of?
I was thinking there might be some chimney-sweeps up there
in grey uniforms.
I've grown to expect anything from southern belles.
I'm not a southern belle. I'm Miss Pickering.
This house was something quite special in its day.
I'm sorry you couldn't have seen it. There used to be a lovely miniature over the mantel.
-Until last week. It paid for the gown I wore this evening.
-I don't know why you asked me here,
-but it was not to pity you.
Pity is the REAL empty room I despise.
I amuse you, Kelly.
It's too early to tell.
Well, we're getting older by the minute. Wouldn't you like to drink that where it's more comfortable?
Whatever you're friend's got, he ought to market it, eh?
Well, good night, Joan.
-Wherever did you get wine at this time of night?
-"Ask me no questions."
I haven't tasted anything so good since the beginning of the war.
You should've seen that too, Kelly.
It was grand.
That was the year Tom Rossiter and I became engaged. The year the boys went off singing.
I begged Tommy to marry me. It wasn't very ladylike, of course, but I begged him. I loved him so much.
Ah-h-h...but he was noble.
He had principle. Said he couldn't risk leaving me a widow.
Second or third year,
the singing somehow stopped.
I still wanted Tommy to marry me.
I mean, he'd lost an eye by then, but that didn't matter.
He was nobler than ever. Said it might be an arm next, or a leg.
Those were the years of frustration.
Tonight I realised what he feared the most.
Losing his sight.
Tom Rossiter's right.
I couldn't STAND to live with half a man.
Ah, Kelly, it must be some hideous failing in me.
I'm so sick and tired to death of all the fighting and killing
and trying to be brave and patient over a lost cause.
So then we come to the fourth year.
The year of temptation.
Thank God you're not another one of those honourable men!
I've spent my life surrounded by honourable men.
Enjoying myself is one of my weaknesses.
Oh, I guess people like us have our own kind of honour.
It's not your advice I want, Kelly, it's your money.
I've been asked to vacate.
Any other assets?
-To buy another dress(?)
-I want you to help me get out of Richmond.
At the moment, impossible.
-Nothing's impossible for you, Kelly, not if you really...
-The minute the good Colonel found I was missing,
-he'd send a regiment after me. I wouldn't make it to the city limits.
-Tom and you...?
Then you're not what you're supposed to be.
Then why did you come here tonight?
Oh, many reasons.
Mainly because you were his girl.
Only now I find out you're not.
If I could manage something for you, would you be willing to go anywhere?
There's a chance...
..just a chance.
Then you WILL try?
Yes, I'll try.
Kelly, I think we ought to drink to that.
I think we should. I promised a friend that...
this might take all night.
I wouldn't make a liar out of you for anything in the world.
Now, the main thing to remember is that...
cattle are like women.
Sometimes you have to be firm with 'em,
sometimes you have to be gentle.
And sometimes you have to give them a slap on the rump.
Your pistol, Captain.
BULLET MAKES METAL RING OUT
That's just a reminder that the sound of gunfire spooks cattle -
a sound that's practically guaranteed on our venture.
OK, now start singing, Captain.
That's right, sing.
-Music's the best medicine in the world for scared animals.
-Now, look here, mister...
-The man said sing!
LOUD AND CLEAR!
# I wish I was in the land of cotton... #
MEN JOIN IN
# ..Look away, look away Look away, Dixie land...! #
You, Hatcher, out there and sing.
For the want of one voice, the battle could be lost.
-Damn it, SING!
# I wish I was in the land of cotton... #
You know... I keep wondering why you came back to us
after slipping away from Hatcher.
I have a commitment.
I don't suppose you'd care to say where you went?
Uh-uh. Not yet.
-Morning! Are you developing a new weapon, Tom?
-Trying to scare the Yanks to death?
-I hope those wailing banshees are ready, Mr Kelly.
-Yes, sir, they're ready. We move tonight as scheduled.
-I know YOUR opinion. I want his. What about it? Can they manage the herd?
-If the colonel would keep after 'em
-so that the men sing on key...
-You know, you're beginning to annoy me, Mr Kelly.
-To the point of refusing
-my professional services?
-Mr Kelly, I'd give you the Richmond Symphony if they weren't already in the army.
Polish up your contraltos, Tom, and I'll notify General Lee's headquarters you're set to go.
Carry on. I'm going back to town.
Nothing like a bath, a bite to eat and a bottle of whiskey before battle.
-My name is Kelly, Capt Ferguson was expecting me. Would you tell him...
-I'm in the dining room?
-I shall attend to that, Mr Kelly.
I'd like a double whiskey.
Oh, make that two - one for the captain.
Ah, Mr Kelly.
-I hope I didn't disturb you.
-No, not at all. I was just packing my gear.
-Getting ready to shove off?
-Aye, that I am. At nightfall.
Now, what can I do for you?
Book a passenger. A lady.
-Anyone I might happen to know?
-Beside the point.
Well, the Athena is a braw ship, but she's tiny. I don't think...
Well, on the other hand, I am a man with no contempt for money at all.
And the advantage of being able to tell a beautiful lady magnificent lies all the way to New York.
19 Royale Street.
-She'll be waiting.
-Alone, mind. No maidservants.
Bon voyage, Captain.
And good luck to you, Mr Kelly.
And you halfway wish it weren't.
And if you weren't a very proud person and in a public place,
-you'd be crying.
-Like a baby.
It's quite a gamble. You don't have to go through with it.
Oh, yes, I do.
Where I'm going, I don't know what'll become of me.
But if I stay here, I know damn well what I'll become.
No girl as pretty or as passionate as you has a right to have such an honest mind.
Kelly, what I wouldn't give to have you along.
If it's any comfort, I would've booked passage, only...
Outside in the courtyard, there's a bloodhound. Rossiter's.
He can't see you, but don't turn. When I leave here, he'll follow me
and I'll let him chase me up a tree.
You stay for a while and then leave.
-Kelly, I've used you. Forgive me for that.
-There's nothing to forgive.
And as for using me, it seems to be the national pastime of the Confederate States of America.
What a ridiculous way to say goodbye.
Perhaps that's why we'll remember it longer.
Goodbye, Kelly. I'll be throwing you kisses from the rail tonight.
Yes, as I say, I recognised the man with him
as one of Rossiter's Comanches when the two of them entered the bordello.
Oh...I don't avail myself of its services, you understand, General.
-But you would be amazed at how much information one...
-Get along with it!
-..Y-Yes, sir. Well, this morning...
Ear to the ground, I learned from one of Harrison's servants that Kelly had been spending his days
at the Comanche camp. And this afternoon, my vigilance paid off.
This afternoon, gentlemen, he made contact with one Captain Ferguson,
a well-known blockade-runner.
Well, gentlemen, need I spell it out?
Well, if it's not asking too much.
No, sir, not at all.
He is not looking for cheap land, as he pretends.
No, gentlemen! Alvarez Kelly...
..is planning to import herds of Mexican beef into the Southern States by sea!
-McIntyre,, how long have you been in this business?
-Four years, General.
I-I beg your pardon, sir?
Your theory is idiotic. Dismissed.
I said you're dismissed!
As you wish, sir.
-An amusing picture -
a boatload of seasick cows standing with their heads over the rail.
-Not priceless, Steadman?
But you're troubled.
Sir... I think there's something in what McIntyre was saying.
Shipping cows from Mexico?
No, sir, cattle closer to home.
Hmm. Are we being exposed to the legal mind at work, Major?
-It's Kelly, spending all that time with Rossiter and his men.
-Major, are you suggesting
Kelly and Rossiter are concocting a scheme to steal your herd?
Grant has an army around Richmond.
Rossiter has to get his cavalry out and the cattle in.
Now, plead your case.
Anything else, Major?
Sir, request the general assign me additional troops.
Major, if anyone tries to steal a single one of your precious cows,
-just telegraph me. I promise to come a-running.
Get the officers in here.
BUGLE SOUNDS OUTSIDE
COLONEL Kelly will stay with me(!)
I just made you...
lieutenant-colonel for the period of the raid.
-Aren't you taking an awful risk, giving me that kind of authority?
-Well, when we get those cattle,
I'll need you to crack the whip.
SHIP'S HOOTER SOUNDS
ROSSITER SNORTS AND CACKLES
You want to share the fun?
Well, I doubt... I doubt that you'd appreciate it!
-I like to laugh.
-Yeah, I know you do.
-Of course, this hare-brained scheme of yours is enough to make any man giddy.
It's not MY scheme making you giddy.
-How many guesses do I get?
-You don't need any.
That's mighty proud o' you, though, not to try to shake Hatcher off a second time.
< HE LAUGHS LOUDLY
Oh...I wouldn't do a foolish thing like that.
No, I bet you wouldn't.
Parting with all that money
-It's a pity,
considering what money means to you.
-I think it went for a good purpose.
-Oh, I'm sure o' that.
I can just see Ferguson donating it to a fund for needy Scotchmen!
-Ah, you don't know how funny that is.
-It's too late now, Kelly.
Your ship has sailed!
-I imagine it has.
-Didn't take you with him!
No, but he took Liz.
I said, he took your girl.
-Now, how many...guesses do
You went to Royale Street, didn't you?
That money to Ferguson...
for HER passage...not yours.
Damn you, Kelly - why?!
Let's just say I was getting even with someone for...
shooting a finger off.
-I don't know how Liz could have anything to do with a bastard like you!
-Listen, you silly ass,
she's a female, not a crinolined saint! If you'd been as intent on pleasing her as serving the cause,
she'd still be with you.
Did you...please her, Kelly?
I've got some advice for you, Rossiter.
Just close the book on this one.
Yeah, I think I'll just do that.
-I'll close it!
Reporting as ordered, sir.
All right, gather round.
I don't have to tell you, the tricky business is to get past Grant's line. We'll way swing out around it.
Fewer sentries. We'll head for Grant's back door
through Blackwater Swamp, about a 50-mile route.
-Now, if we can get...
-Colonel. Pardon me, sir. Are you saying we'll plough through Blackwater?
-It's one big devil of a swamp.
-That's my gamble. Nobody'll expect us cos nobody would believe we could cross.
So if we can get to the plantation by tomorrow night, we'll hide till dawn,
take care of whatever Yanks are there
-I crack the whip.
It's what I'm here for, isn't it?
..cavalry under General Hampton will cover our flank on the return.
General Lee's ordered a diversionary attack to hold the enemy's attention.
His artillery's our sig...
HEAVY ARTILLERY BOOMS
That's it. that's Lee's artillery.
Our signal to ride. Let's go.
Bugler, call the men! BUGLE SOUNDS
ARTILLERY THUNDERS MEN SHOUT ORDERS
..that book's not closed
If anything happens to me,
-Ride across, try it.
Old friends are the fairest(!)
Colonel Rossiter detailed me as your aide.
Next time, remember...
never put the flame to the cigar.
A half an inch under.
You can learn about things like that...in your spare time
while polishing my boots.
-It's fine, sir.
-Take 'em across.
Colonel, our luck's holding out. That bridge is sound as a bell.
-I don't think so.
-Well, they're crossin' it.
Well-trained cavalrymen - slow their horses down and spread out.
What are you trying to say?
Well, you ought to know that cattle don't spread out. They jam together.
And when they do, they'll outweigh your horses ten to one.
This thing will come apart before the first steer hits the other side.
-How long will it take you to shore up this bridge?
-I'd say the rest of today and most of tomorrow.
-You got till midnight!
Obliged, Mr Kelly,
for being so...considerate of our problem.
My problem too.
I want to get KELLY across.
-Will it be finished by midnight?
-No, sir, we can't.
-But we will.
-All right. Bring up the column then. Farrow will meet you
-with word of the Yanks guarding the cattle. If I'm in trouble, you take command. AND the herd.
-Is this the best way you could pick?!
-Yup. The best.
Cos it's the most improbable.
Can you drive the cattle through here? A solid spine about 50 yards wide - Yanks know nothing about it.
-If we keep the herd tight.
-That's YOUR job.
-Just make sure you get there before dawn.
-Don't you even get tired of being a chaperone?
I like it.
You know why?
I figure you might try it once more.
You do that, Kelly, any time you want to. Just feel free.
< APPROACHING HOOFBEATS
We haven't been in this place for years.
When Charity and I were kids, we used to sneak down here,
(When I get over there, pick up a cone and throw it...)
Hatcher! Wait for me!
I'll take that.
Not even you...
would shoot this close in.
-How many men?
-200 at the very least. Any idea what regiment they are?
-Pennsylvania 12th, and they're proud of it.
-We fought them in the wilderness, Colonel, remember?
-They have the new repeating-rifles.
-Yeah. ..Where do they bunk?
-They camp by the old corral.
The old corral... ..Farrow!
-Who's your friend...?
-Now, where's Steadman?
-At the overseer's cottage.
-A telegraph line?
-At the cottage.
Cut it - as far from the cottage as you can. ..Obliged, Charity. You've done your homework real well.
I hate to see loose guns lying around.
I'm glad you've got it.
It'll make me feel better when I blow your guts out.
When you do, you'd better be faster than these clowns...
-You could make me a Yankee hero(!)
He was near the fence, Major. We ordered him to halt. He ran.
-Should we notify General Kautz?
-And tell him what?
One man(?) Unless we can produce the whole of their cavalry, he'll just have himself another laugh. Corporal,
-get the servants.
The question is, did he cut that wire?
-Do you recognise him?
Are you sure?
Ain't never seen him before in my life.
-Never laid eyes on him, master.
I don't understand.
We're down here fighting for YOU.
Fighting to free YOU.
how can you be so loyal to someone who wants to keep you a slave?
Well, maybe that's the worst of it.
All right, bury him.
This time of year?
S... Storage apples.
From a fruit cellar.
EVERYBODY OUT! >
All right, come on out with your hands up!
All right, come out or we fire.
Hands up - UP!
Would you, er, put that gun down, please?
Well, Mr Kelly!
STILL LAUGHING: Sergeant...
After him! Webster - telegraph line, make sure it's cut.
-Farrow, take care of the Yanks.
You just hold it here, Mr Kelly. This is where I put you to work.
Get those Yanks outta here, get going. Come on, get these horses.
Rise and shine, soldiers! get up!
Up and at 'em, blue boy! Easy...! All right, out.
All right - out!
GET THEM IN THE CORRAL!
Come on, boys, move that powder. Be careful there, Zeb.
All right, start moving that herd.
-You see where Steadman's headed!
-I said move!
Listen, you idiot! Cattle can't make five miles an hour. You're gonna be in Yankees up to here!
-You're be lucky to get your MEN out.
-I told you to move!
-No herd, no Kelly.
It was like playing games, the other night, wasn't it?
Exciting and honourable.
How does it strike you now?
I'll ride point. Captain Williams, you take the left flank. Captain Webster, you take the right.
-You wouldn't consider riding drag, would you?
-Huh - nope!
-I didn't think so.
ALL RIGHT, MOVE 'EM OUT!
Well, there it is, Colonel.
Just the way you saw it in that crazy dream.
With the general's permission, I remind the general I warned him.
My judgement was correct all along. Absolutely correct. I gambled he would risk his cavalry, and he did.
He did! The herd is big for Rossiter and Rossiter's big for Hampton.
-Yes, he's been sighted here. Just as I planned. I knew what that beef meant to the Rebs all along!
-I've reached Colonel Jacobs, sir, he's ready to ride.
-What's his strength?
-6,000 New York 2nd.
Excellent! Jacobs is to proceed down the Jerusalem plank-road. If he moves fast enough,
he'll have Hampton by the throat, a possibility that might never have presented itself
if I'd listened to your request for more troops. ..Well, what are YOU waiting for?
-Detect my strategy, Major?
Now, Major...question. How do YOU believe Rossiter expects to get that herd to Richmond?
Well, I... I'd say he's gonna drive the cattle into Blackwater swamp.
It's my guess that's the way they came. The bridge at Cook's Crossing.
Splendid! That's why I'm giving you my reserves. 300 cavalry
plus a howitzer battery.
Yes, sir. That's... That's splendid, sir.
Head 'em in tighter, boys!
-What is it?
I couldn't catch him, not with no quarter-mile lead.
-Farrow, take two men, scout ahead.
Lanier, Dugas, let's go!
Let's get to the colonel!
Come on, you stupid hunk of leather! Get out of here! You're miles from the stewpot!
All right, come on, move 'em outta here!
-Cattle figure, after a morning's march, they got a right to a rest and a drink.
-We don't have the time!
-Yankee cavalry, Colonel! The way they was hustling, they'll be at the bridge now, digging in!
Looked like a full squadron. They had a battery of howitzers.
-Is there a way to bypass the bridge?
-Nothin' but swamp. We'd drown 'em.
Drive 'em in the swamp.
At least that'll deny 'em to Yankee bellies.
It does seem a pity to disappoint those Yanks at the bridge.
-Just what you got in mind, Colonel?
-We'll split in two ranks, move at 'em from both sides.
Holy mother of God!
Three thousand miles to drown in a stinking swamp?!
You make me sick!
The Virginia Comanches do or "die"(!)
-Rossiter, you're long on gallantry but short on sense.
-We'll talk about that later.
-You don't know a damn thing about cattle!
-What are you drivin' at?
-You want this herd in Richmond?
You know something, Kelly, or are you just blowing hard, as usual?
Do you want this herd in Richmond?
You trying to tell me you know a way?
What's it worth to you?
What's your price?
You know what the price is.
All right, you've got it.
Hatcher, any instructions I gave regarding Colonel Kelly...
I'm in command now?
-How many Yanks, did you say?
-I'd say about 300, sir.
-And about 100 of us.
2,500 head of cattle.
That makes 2,600 for our side.
We'll divide 'em into groups of 500 each. I want an inventory of all your gunpowder and ammunition.
-Brings those wagons up and assemble your men for instructions.
This business of command seems to come easy to me. ..Hatcher.
You know, Sergeant, I'm gonna miss your merry smile and your winning ways. Get to work.
Let's hurry that up!
-Do you still think they'll come this way, sir?
-Uh-huh... Get your men quiet.
-QUIET ON THE LINE!
That's the funny thing about cattle. You can hear them way, way off, like the pounding of surf.
RUMBLE GETTING LOUDER
Get them to bunch up. Come on, bunch up!
Move it along! Get 'em going! Move it on!
Keep 'em moving!
-Alert your men, Lieutenant.
-READY ON THE FIRING LINE!
RUMBLE GETS LOUDER
All right, here they come.
Keep 'em moving!
-Shall I fire now, sir?
-No, hold your fire.
RAPID CONFEDERATES GUNFIRE
All right, fire! FIRE!
Shoot in! Get the cattle!
Hold! Hold, men, hold!
A little more to the right!
WORDS DROWNED OUT
Here's the second group! Get 'em moving!
Circle 'em in tight!
Take it across the bridge!
-Keep 'em on the run, don't let 'em get set.
Move 'em along!
Swing it over!
Pull the rope.
All right, set the next one. Come on, hurry it up!
Hatcher, lay a trail!
Get 'em across the bridge!
-As soon as the last man's over, light it.
Move 'em out! Keep 'em moving!
Keep them moving to the bridge!
Everybody out! Move! Across the bridge!
Come here! Get me a report on all companies! Regroup here! ..You, follow me!
NOW'S YOUR TIME!
General Hampton's compliments, sir. He says he's got the Union troops contained.
It's clear sailing to Richmond.
That's fine. Just fine.
We lost about 40 steers.
-That's not bad.
-Well, you got one eye...
looks like now you got one lung.
-You keep on fighting like this, you're gonna wind up with one of everything.
You seem to manage pretty well yourself
for a nine-fingered man.
-We got 20 wounded, Colonel.
-Eight dead, sir, including Farrow and...Hatcher.
They must've dropped Hatcher when he was a-lighting that fuse.
He timed it well. If he'd have lit that fuse a couple of seconds earlier, I would've been...
-He timed it fine.
-He got chopped down like a real hero, Colonel.
-Yeah. We're all heroes(!)
Now, start pushing that herd.
Well. I suppose you'd like to be moving on.
-The sooner I get back to Richmond, the quicker I can find a way back home.
-You'd better feel your ground.
You're a wanted man.
By the Yanks.
You know, I saw some crazy things at that bridge. One of 'em was you risking your life
to save a Confederate officer.
Seems to me that was kinda long on gallantry,
short on sense, wouldn't you say?
-I like to try everything on once, Colonel, see if it fits.
-Looked kinda stylish on you.
God, I never thought I'd catch myself saying that.
Don't worry, I won't try it twice.
'For once, the soldiers of the Confederacy and the people of Richmond would eat their fill.
'What General Grant had to say when he heard that his prize herd was raided is unquotable.
'President Lincoln's comment, however, is a matter of record.
'Lincoln called it "the slickest piece of cattle-stealing I ever heard of".'
# Alvarez Kelly The I-I-I Irish senor! #
Civil War western. Skilled-but-cynical cattleman Alvarez Kelly, profiting from the Civil War, delivers a herd to the Union army. However, he is then abducted by Confederate colonel Tom Rossiter, who intends to steal the cattle to feed his starving soldiers surrounded in Richmond and must 'persuade' Kelly to help.