Vera Cruz (1954) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

  • After the American Civil War, mercenaries travel to Mexico to fight in their revolution for money. The former soldier and gentleman Benjamin Trane meets the gunman and killer Joe Erin and his men, and together they are hired by the Emperor Maximillian and the Marquis Henri de Labordere to escort the Countess Marie Duvarre to the harbor of Vera Cruz. Ben and Erin find that the stagecoach is transporting three million U.S. dollars in gold hidden below the seat, and they scheme to steal it. Along their journey, betrayals and incidents happen changing their initial intentions.

  • Ben Trane and Joe Erin, two rival soldiers of fortune who team to fight for the highest bidder. The two men come to loggerheads when Trane's sweetheart Nina begs them to fight on the side of the rebels, while the wealthy Marquis de Labodere implores them to offer their services to Emperor Maximillian. Though they still haven't taken sides, Trane and Erin agree to escort the aristocratic Countess Marie Duvarre through hostile territory to Vera Cruz. It soon develops that the Countess is transporting a gold shipment to the Emperor's armies. Hardly the most patriotic of souls, she offers to split the gold with Trane and Erin, but they steal it for themselves instead. It takes a while (and several bloody armed confrontations) before the two protagonists do the right thing.

  • Two nineteenth century soldiers of fortune, one survivor of the Civil War with a soft spot for sick horses and social justice, the other a charming and greedy trigger-happy killer, search for their next dollar down in Mexico at a time when the country is torn between Emperor Maxmillian and the nationalist peasant Army trying to overthrow him. Since the Emperor has the most cash, our hired guns agree to serve the Emperor by escorting a Countess to the city of Vera Cruz by passing through territory under rebel control. On the way to Vera Cruz, both fighters discover three million U.S. dollars in gold coins (intended to buy guns for the Emperor from France) hidden at the bottom of the stagecoach carrying the Countess, and she is not totally unaware of the fact either. She has her own plans too. All three plot against the other two to scoop the treasure away. Betrayal is not an issue. It's not even personal. It's just business. After a few gunfights and ambush scenes between Maxmillian's escorting Army and the peasant rebels, justice reigns, and Ben Trane emerges as the noble soul who triumphs over crass materialism despite the soft spot in his heart that Joe Erin took for weakness.


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