STRONGHOLD (director: Steve Sekely; screenwriter: Wells Root; cinematographer: Stanley Cortez; editor: Charles L. Kimball; music: Antonio Díaz Conde; cast: Veronica Lake (Mary Stevens), Zachary Scott (Don Miguel Navarro), Arturo de Cordova (Don Pedro Alvarez), Monty Beragon (), Fanny Schiller (Mother), (), (), (); Runtime: 72; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Olallo Rubio Gandara; VCI; 1951)
“An awkwardly made historical revolutionary film about the Mexican rebellion against the Austrian emperor Maximillian.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Hungarian-born Steve Sekely(“The Scar”/”The Day of the Triffids”/”Revenge of the Zombies”) directs from Wells Root’s screenplay. It’s an awkwardly made historical revolutionary film about the Mexican rebellion against the Austrian emperor Maximillian.
The wealthy Southern belle Mary Stevens (Veronica Lake, at the request of her Mexican-born mother (Fanny Schiller), and her protector, Don Miguel Navarro (Zachary Scott), goes to Mexico to escape the American Civil War in the 1860s. Instead of peace, Mary finds there’s an upheaval in Juarez. The bandit Don Pedro Alvarez (Arturo de Cordova) kidnaps Mary because of her silver mines in the area, as he wants to get money to finance the revolution.
One version of the film was made for American audiences and another, called Furia Roja, for South American viewers. The Spanish-speaking one had essentially the same plot but there were changes in the story. Veronica Lake appeared only in the Hollywood version.
REVIEWED ON 5/25/2015 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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