Beware the Constable
Bob Valdez (Burt Lancaster), the town constable, finds himself called upon when Frank Tanner (Jon Cypher) having accused a man of murder has him pinned down in a remote shack with gunmen lined up on the hills to kill him. But it is Frank's actions which lead to Bob killing the man who turned out to be innocent. When Valdez approaches Tanner to provide financial support for the dead man he ends up being almost killed. That was a mistake and after he recovers he summons up all his strength and knowledge to make Tanner and his men pay.
Let me give you a brief insight into the first few scenes of "Valdez Is Coming"; firstly after trying to talk to the pinned down man Valdez kills him due to one of Tanner's henchmen. Then Valdez approaches Tanner to offer financial support to the dead man's widow but he refuses. A day later he goes back and asks again, this time ending up coming worse off at the hands of Tanner and his henchmen. Why I say this is because one of the things which struck me about "Valdez Is Coming" is it has a drawn out nature, willing to double back and repeat scenes which for me was annoying.
Now of course the reason for this is to create atmosphere and suspension making you never sure when a scene of vengeance will come and yes it is true. But for me it is a case that flow has been sacrificed in "Valdez Is Coming" to try and generate an ominous air and time and again I found myself thinking that scenes were tossed in to this which whilst having an air of suspense were also filler.
Despite this "Valdez Is Coming" is an entertaining western with plenty of suspense and plenty of style and of course Burt Lancaster. Now Lancaster being a veteran of the western genre was certainly at home in this sort of movie and he delivers an unsurprisingly strong performance of a man with an almost mysterious side. But Lancaster's accent in this seems to wing between none to Irish and then Mexican which spoils things. And truth be told Lancaster carries this movie as the rest of the actors whilst doing their parts are saddled with under developed characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Valdez Is Coming" whilst a good western with Burt Lancaster delivering a strong performance suffers due to it's drawn out nature with scenes which add nothing to the movie other than some suspense spoiling its flow.