Movie Review: The Undefeated (1969)
The Undefeated (1969)
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Cast: John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
Synopsis: Former Yankee and Confederate soldiers overcome their differences to battle with the Mexicans.
The Undefeated is a rather pedestrian western, made when the careers of both its male leads were in the doldrums. John Wayne (Cast a Giant Shadow, The Shootist) plays the former Yankee soldier turned horse trader who stumbles across Colonel James Langdon’s (Rock Hudson – Come September, Seconds) band of former Confederate soldiers on their way to Mexico at the invitation of Emperor Maximilian. The two men and their respective followers eventually manage to overcome their former enmity and unite against a common enemy – the duplicitous Mexicans and their French allies.
The Undefeated is an incredibly dull movie given the fact that it tells a fairly unusual story. Wayne’s career was beginning to wind down as he grew older, and although he’s more mobile than he would be just a few years later, he still doesn’t do a great deal. Hudson’s career as a romantic leading man was also coming to an end, and he’s badly miscast in the role of a noble Southern gentleman turned soldier. Add to this a fairly anonymous cast and a storyline that lacks any real conflict until the last 10 minutes and you’re left with a viewing experience that is as much of a test of endurance as the long journey undertaken by the film’s protagonists.
(Reviewed 4th November 2011)