Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s El Condor (1970)

El Condor (1970)

Luke (Jim Brown), an escaped chain-gang prisoner in the post-Civil War West, is told of a fortune in gold hidden by a Mexican general in the fortress of El Condor.

Together with small-time conman and crusty prospector Jaroo (Lee Van Cleef) and Santana (Iron Eyes Cody), an Apache leader, he sets out into the Mexican desert in search of the elusive treasure.


Director John Guillermin came unstuck with this Larry Cohen co-scripted western.

The Spanish-shot movie wears on its sleeve all the gruesome Cohen trademarks that would be used to chilling effect in 1974’s It’s Alive but contains none of the tongue-in-cheek humour that’s often the salvation of the European western.

As the protagonists, Lee Van Cleef and Jim Brown look good but have little of substance to work on, and a supporting cast that includes veteran Hollywood cowboy Elisha Cook Jr is wasted. The underrated Mariana Hill is, as ever, excellent, but the constant brutality and the excruciatingly slow pace make this very hard to enjoy.

Lee Van Cleef
Jim Brown
Patrick O’Neal
Marianna Hill
Iron Eyes Cody
Imogen Hassall
Old convict
Elisha Cook Jr
Colonel Aguinaldo
Gustavo Rojo
Florencio Amarilla
General Hernandez
Julio Pena
Angel Del Pozo
Prison guard captain
John Clark

John Guillermin