Charro! (1969)

Charro Movie Poster

Charro Movie Poster

“You’ve lived and died and come to life again”

Released March 13th, 1969, Charro! is a westerns film starring Elvis and this film is not a musical and never features him singing on-screen. In fact, the only song in this movie is the main title song performed by Elvis.

This movie was shot on location at the Apacheland Movie Ranch and Old Tucson Studios in Arizona. Charro! made a profit, $1.5 million in the box office, but remains Elvis’s least-seen films. The role in which Elvis portrays, Jess Wade, was originally turned down by Clint Eastwood.

Other titles for the film included Jack Valentine, Johnny Hang, and Come Hell or Come Sundown.Elvis Cowboy in Charro

Elvis was so excited to begin this project after reading the script, but once he arrived on his first day of shooting the script was unrecognizable. Originally, the opening scene was supposed to feature female nudity but was replaced with a bar scene instead.

Most of the violence to the film was dropped completely. Unfortunately, Elvis fans were not thrilled by the lack of songs and the critics were unimpressed by the film. The film did make a good profit and Elvis earned $850,000 for his work.

Charro! Trailer

Elvis portrays Jess Wade in 1870 who has just received an urgent message from his former girlfriend, Tracy (Ina Balin) and rides into a Mexican border town. The message is a ruse and Jess finds himself surrounded by former friends carrying guns.

The men are a band of outlaws who Jess once rode with. He had left them a year before going straight. Leader Vince (Victor French) and his brother Billy Roy (Soloman Sturges) take Jess hostage. They take him to their mountain hideout. In the hideout, they have the stolen gold-and-silver Victory Gun which fired the last shot against Maximillian and freed the country. Elvis in Charro

The outlaws intend to sell it to the highest bidder. Vince produces a “Wanted” poster stating that Jess is the one responsible for stealing the cannon and offering a reward for him – dead or alive.Jess manages to escape to a village which is on the U.S. side of the border, Rio Seco.

He has friends in the village and hopes to find safety. Sheriff Ramsey (James Almanzar) knew Jess when he was younger and encouraged him to leave the gang. The Sheriff believes his innocence and does not display the poster. There is also Tracy, who runs the town saloon and loves Jess.

Scenes from Charro!

Billy Roy ends up in Rio Seco for a night and wounds the sheriff in a gunfight. Jess drags Billy Roy to jail. The wounded sheriff makes Jess a deputy in order to keep the town safe. Jess knows Vince will try to free his brother, so he arms the townspeople for their safety.

Of course, Vince demands that his brother is released, but the new deputy counters with an order that Vince return the cannon to him in order to be returned to Mexico. Vince instead tells Jess he has until sundown to release his brother or risk destruction of Rio Seco by the cannon.Sandra Meegan and Elvis in Charro

Lieutenant Rivera (Tony Young) leads a platoon of Mexican cavalry into town. Vince tells Jess they are looking for him, with this threat, Jess threatens to kill Billy Roy if he does not get rid of them. Fear of his brother being killed, Vince agrees and promises to take the soldiers to the gun.

Instead, he ambushes the soldiers and moves the cannon near the town. Even with the threat to the town with the cannon, Jess refuses to release Billy Roy. The cannon is fired which topples the church bell. A second is fired and kills the sheriff and destroys his home.


(Title song and opening sequence)

The townspeople urge Jess to free Billy Roy, but Jess rides out of town with him. They approach Vince and the gang where Jess demands they surrender. If another shot is fired, it will kill Billy Roy. The gang breaks out into a fight where many of the members are killed.

Billy Roy dies when the wagon with the cannon breaks loose and crushes him. The fight is over and Vince is left to see the harm that has been caused because of his actions. Jess takes him prisoner and drives the wagon back to the town. The townspeople ask Jess to stay and become the sheriff but says he must take the cannon and Vince to Mexico. Tracy asks if he will come back, which he responds no, but will send for her.

Deleted Scenes

(This video contains deleted scenes and a deleted song from the film)

I actually had never watched this movie until I was in high school. Most of the Elvis movies I had watched before had been on Turner Classic Movies or were Christmas or Birthday presents. I decided when I was in high school that I wanted to own every Elvis movie, so I went on Amazon and found the best deals and bought them that way.

I have only watched Charro! once or twice, but it is such a good movie. With all the films before this one, I wish The Colonel would have looked at his level of talent and given him a chance as a movie star. It really is a shame Elvis did not get to do more things like this movie. Also, Elvis’s beard in this movie is so sexy.

Until we meet again,

TCB and TCE,

Little Sister Signature

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