Cannon for Cordoba (1970) - full transcript

In 1916, a Mexican rebel named Cordoba steals six cannons from the forces of General Pershing who's been sent to bring order to the Texas-Mexico border. Pershing assigns a soldier named Rod Douglas to retrieve the cannons. Douglas recruits a trio of misfits and they, along with a Mexican officer and an enigmatic woman, travel 200 miles south to Cordoba's mountain fortress. Explosions and gun battles soon erupt.

An impressive sight,
General Pershing.

That's the kind of muscle we need
to stop these damn raids.

I don't have muscle...

but I have speed, that's
the reason for the train.


and a little information.

I'll find Cordoba.

I'll give you 8 to 5 they don't get
that gun up in one try.

- You're on.
- You lose, soldier.

You're going to help them.
All of you. On your feet.


- Clay, I've got something here.
- An insect, probably.

Slide some whisky in that ear,
you'll be alright.

- I'm giving you a direct order.
- My men aren't under your orders.

They're in the U.S. army
and they'll obey orders.

They'll do what I tell them.

And I say they don't drill...

they don't work,
they don't salute.

They just fight.

Jackson, Adam.

Six field pieces, general.

M-1902, 3 inch, pivot traverse,
panorama sighting.

Enough fire power
to blow a town apart.

Six guns. I want them.

I want to know
where they will be...

how they are guarded,
and by whom.

I want those guns.

Alright, we'll split up here.

Cordoba's looking for recruits.
We'll ride in separate.

Adam, keep your mouth shut.

Your brother won't be there
to look after you.

I'll make you a bet.
I reach Cordoba before you do.

Don't bet with me, boy. You don't
know enough to tie your sweatband.

Don't get your foot
caught in a bucket.

Not unless it's filled
with beer.

Get the hell out of here.

"Adios, amigo".

He's young,
but he'll settle down.

How far? Six feet?

Excellent, huh, Svedborg?

We can use them.
Where did you find them, pistolero?

A Texas labour gang.

We figured we could join
your revolution.

We brought you as many men
as we could.

Remember, hombres...

it's better to die on your feet...

than live on your knees.

He's softening, General.
I think he's about to break.

You have a musical ear,

A perfect pitch
for human weakness...

but you enjoy it
too much.


My God, it's your brother.

I am General Cordoba.
Listen to me.

We know about Pershing's train
and the guns...

but, where is it going?

They'll kill him.

That's right.

What are we going to do,
just stand and watch?

That's right.

You son of a bitch.

Where is the train?

Where is the train?

Harmon Springs.

When will it arrive?

Tuesday night.

Correct, General.
That is what our friend says.

The Revolution has many friends,
for a price.

Kill him.

The Revolution
has many friends...

for a price.

General Pershing. Fred Tate,
mayor of Harmon Springs.

Tate. Please.

That's a hell of a sight...

all those cannons.

But will they stop those
damn greasers raiding us?

No, Mayor Tate, I will.

- Do we get a detachment of cavalry?
- Not likely.

Then you're selling a lot of bull.
Look, this is an election year...


You know I used to run 80000 acres
of range across the border...

before I got raided out?

I want those bastards
cured, right?

Right, and the way to do it is
to get soldiers along the border.

The army doesn't have enough men
to watch 1200 miles of border.

That is why we need you.

Don't be polite, General.
I'll tell him.

The senator asked me to set this up,
so this is the way it'll be.

You'll raise an auxiliary and
patrol your own section of border.

Any raid, you yell, and the army
comes in and mops up.

And if they don't come?

Don't sell the army short.

You execute your part of the plan,
we'll do the rest.

- High.
- Your play.

Watch the machine guns,
forward, back.

I'll get to Pershing.

Slow him down.

We have some time.
Why don't we find some amusement?

Thanks, pal.



Thanks, sport.

Not me, him.

I'm in no hurry.

I'll fix that, honey.

We'll have fun.

Well, I smell a little ripe...

You said it, honey.
I didn't.

We can forget it. I don't want
to make you throw up.

Hey, honey. I got paid.
I'm a professional.

Don't you worry,
we'll be just fine.

Don't be too long.


Yes, sir.

What buffalo pit did he come out of?
That'll cover it. Come on, big man.

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Wait, wait a minute.

Stop making such a fuss. It'll
be just as good when you're clean.

Listen, we don't do laundry here.
You get a bath after you're stripped.

Do you know anything about

Enough to know all you have to do
is pull the trigger.

You washed there already.

I'll wash down here then.

Don't you think it's time
to rinse me off?

I think so. There you go.

What a specimen you are.

I think you're clean now.

Out you get.

Thank you.

Just a second.

One second.
Just... just...

Now, I've got to go out
for a minute.

You get the rest when
I come back, OK?

Honey, we were just
getting started.


maybe later.


Gently, captain,
soft and gentle.

Cordoba's in town
with a small army.


He came to get our cannon.

Why didn't you warn us

They're watching,
the town's full of them.

Tell the general Cordoba will set off
an explosion as a distraction.

He's going to hit
from the rear.

With a mob of bandits?

With trained light cavalry.

He's counting on surprise.
You can chop him up like sausage.

Be ready.

- Hey now, you're touchy, captain.
- And you're off limits.

I just wander and play my music.
No law against that.

- Then wander in another direction.
- Yes, sir.

You play an excellent game
of chess.

I don't get the chance
too often.

I have enjoyed it.

We aim to please.

Are you a soldier?

I like to think so.


Evening, ladies.

Ready, honey?
Those things are too sharp.

I can't stay.

Where are you going?


Outside? What's the matter?
Don't you like me?

Yeah. It's just something
that runs in my family.

You never can tell.

No questions.
No resistance.

Get that ammunition out!

Fire brigade!

Get the machine guns set up
in a crossfire pattern.

Yes, sir.

Keep it up!


Why don't they use
the machine guns?

Cordoba's got them.

Long live General Cordoba!

Let's go.

Where have you been?

General, we lost the train.

Let's go.

- ¡Viva Cordoba!
- ¡Viva!

32 men killed,
26 men wounded.

And six artillery pieces lost
to those damn bandits...

plus a personal attack on myself and
making jackasses out of the army.

Your pride might be wounded,
but I lost eight good men.

Don't be insolent. Your mission
was to learn of Cordoba's plans...

we got no warning.
The fault is clearly yours.

Yes, I made a major tactical error,
I relied on Captain Riggs.

Riggs was a fine officer.

He got himself decoyed
and butchered.

That'll do, Captain.

Let's get on with
the tactical plans.

How accurate is this model
of Cordoba's fortress?

As accurate as
the captain's report.

We never saw the place,
but Harkness and I...

got descriptions
from Cordoba.

It's here, in the mountains.

More than 200 miles in. And
that country's worse than rough.

I ran cattle down there
for 12 years.

The roads are dust for nine months
and mud for three.

Get caught in the attack,
Mr. Warner?

Not too bad. I just
didn't duck quick enough.

General, the last 40 miles
are all open country.

Then there's not much chance
of surprising Cordoba.

No chance, I'd say. It's his country,
he's on a mountain top.

Steep cliffs,
one road.

With those cannons, he's the hero
of every peon in northern Mexico.





I want those guns destroyed.

I estimate one month to arrange
supplies, transport...

diplomatic agreement.
An expeditionary force.

You can't go into Mexico
with the army.

Why not?

A gringo invasion?

Exactly. They should be
taught a lesson.

Lessons, Colonel,
are taught in a classroom.

You are talking about killing people
to prove a point.

Those people will fight
to prove a point.

I'm not interested
in your opinions.

I'm interested in one thing:
A solution.

Yes, sir.

I want someone to get inside
that fortress.

You mean me, sir?

You, and the men you need.

You'll be travelling
out of uniform...

without authorisation...

without orders.

If you're caught...

you'll be shot.

But I want those guns

I want Cordoba.
And I want him alive.

At ease, Lieutenant.
Captain Douglas...

this is Lieutenant Gutierrez, liaison
from the government of Mexico.


I'm assigning him
to your unit.


My orders are to bring the traitor
Cordoba to Mexico city for trial.

I'll try for the guns,
I'll even try for Cordoba...

but I'm not carrying him.

I was assured
full co-operation.

"Nada personal, teniente.
Llevaré sólamente mis hombres."

I speak excellent English.

Good, then you understand.
You don't go.

That's your decision.

Thank you, sir.

Don't thank me, I'm not indulging
you. I'm gambling your life.

Yes, sir.

The cannons, right?

And Cordoba.
You volunteered.

Fine. Anyway you look at it,
you're a dead man.

Pick your time.

I will.

Look at that,
busted clear off.

I'm completed the calculations.

The guard will change
in three minutes.

Meanwhile, this man
is the only one on duty.

So what?

I also determined this lock
can be opened easily.

Why don't you just give it
a try, Greek?

I have.

Howdy, Captain.
Did you come with my pardon?

Released in my custody,

Released? They just about
killed me.

They didn't.

Where are we going?


Next time I get you two
in here...

I'll strip you down and
chain you to the bunks.

I've never stolen
a bunk before.

200 miles into the
Sierra Occidental?

Long, weary trip.

Are you declining, Andy?

No. I wouldn't miss this dance
for nothing.

I enjoy watching you go into
the jaws of death...

and come out with somebody's
gold filling.

I'll get out.

I might just bring you out too.

With that guarantee,
bring me along.

I will not go.

It's a people's revolution in Mexico.
I won't help to put it down.

We won't attack the people. We're
going after one man, Cordoba.

You want to help the people?

You know I do.

Somebody's got to get Cordoba.
That's what I'm going to do.

Perhaps you're right.

Now, to get him,
we've got to isolate him.

I don't know, it sounds
awful rough, Cap.

Maybe we ought to
forget it.

You're gutless, Andy.

No, I just want
to live forever.

I'll send the medal
to your mother.

Gentlemen, may I present
our Mexican ally.

"Teniente" Antonio Gutierrez.

He's pretty.
He's kind of noisy though.

That's insolent.

You're talking to an officer
of the Mexican army.

There's no rank.

We're all equals, except for me,
being a little more equal.

Throw him out.

You need somebody
to isolate Cordoba.

I can provide that somebody.


No, not unless I go along.

You're bluffing.

I don't trust you either. The
introductions will be inside Mexico.

When? Where?

In two days. In Madera,
the Casa de Extraños.

We might stop by.

You're a stubborn man, Lieutenant.

Once I was proud of my regiment.
It had honour.

Now, it no longer exists
because General Hector Cordoba...

betrayed it. I will have payment
for that betrayal...

even if I have to use you.

How far are we going
to trust him?




I want that ready
by 5am.

I've got some reconnaissance
in town.

There's a fellow
I want to see.

Very attractive, darling.

Thank you so much, darling.

Don't knock my accent, Rod.
It's my only talent.

Honey, that is a shameful lie.

I don't know if I like that.

It makes me sound cheap.

I'm not. When I choose a man,
I'm faithful to him.

Warner might not think that,
when he finds out what you told me.

Harry is sweet,
and generous.

I've been absolutely faithful
to him. Like I told you.

But I'm leaving this hole
in the morning, so what the hell!

Stop explaining. You convinced me
a long time ago.

There's still a couple of hours
until morning.

And a couple of things
I've got to check out.

I thought you loved me.

I do.

For your beauty...

your fire, your talent...

and your first class cigars.

Pilot paid 30 pieces of silver.
Is Cordoba giving you 80000 acres?

Take my advice.

Never trust a lady.

Company still with us?

No. As soon as we left the main road
they stopped tracking us.

Four of them moved straight on.

They're waiting for us.

That means we ride into them.

And make sure we're the only ones
that ride out the other side.

It's a good thing we've got
Mr. Warner with us.

He knows all about everything,
don't you, Mr. Warner?

I think Mr. Warner
wants to say something.

I'll have you court-martialled
for this.

If I'm wrong, you can.

What do you want?

Just the pleasure
of your company.

Like I keep telling you,
never trust a belly dancer.

What did you pay her?


Maybe she loves me.

We're about to find out.

Peter, go round the back.

Warner, your friends are expecting
four of us.

You are number one.

There's an ambush up ahead,
right behind that monastery.

Don't shoot! It's me!
Don't shoot!

Don't shoot!

Don't shoot!

You get them all?



No. Move your arm.

It'll do.
Thanks for your concern.


It should be cleaned first.


Jorge Campo, a major
in Cordoba's army.

Alright, let's go.

Are you alright?

How's Warner?

He's dead.

It's been one bitch of a day.

I'm sore down to the bone.
How are you feeling?




Come cut this slug out of me.

Why me?

Because you've got
a steady hand.

It's right here.


That's right.

Get on with it.

Get on with it.

Anything you say.

It's not so deep.

A nice neat job.

Any time.

Oh, boy.

This is what I call
taking it soft.

First class genuine oak wood jerky,
first class water...

and a 10 minute rest
every 20 hours.

That's right, Andy.

You get to ride drag, just as soon
as you finish enjoying your dinner.

I surely do thank you.

A taste of water.
Taste of dust from here on.

When I was a boy in Greece, a man
could live for a week on that...

- and another week on living rock.
- Why did you come here?

I came for the third week.

Madera is just past those hills.
About 3 hours, I'd say.

We'll make it in two.

Even if it kills us?

You say that with some feeling.
Peter, set your watch at 1.15.

Mr. Gutierrez, please?


A light, amigo?

Who is it?

I'm very cautious.

Where's your man?


Miss Leonora Cristobal,
Captain Rod Douglas.

Am I satisfactory?

What's she got to do
with Cordoba?

He has a great weakness.

I know, for women.

Leonora is a woman,
and an attractive one.

You're volunteering for a job
a whore might turn down.

I have my reasons.


this job works
by my reasons.

You don't fit into them.

You're an idiot.

Captain Douglas, listen.

I want Cordoba dead.

I'll do what's necessary
for that.

What's necessary is to let him make
love to you. Do what he wants.

And make believe you enjoyed it.
Why do you want to do that?


Cordoba's bandits raided
our hacienda.

He killed my father
and my brother...

as I watched.

Are you satisfied?

No. Women bury their dead
and keep on living.

You're dodging. Why?

I know what it is to let him
do what he wants with me.


raped me...

and left me with my dead.
I want him killed.

We're not going to kill him.


The government wants him tried

disgraced, not martyred.

But I swear to you,
he will be executed.

We're going to try to blow the cannon
and bring him out with us.

You'd have to distract him.

Do you know what that means?


Captain Douglas,
my family is dead.

I myself am also
a little dead.

I want Cordoba to pay
for those deaths.

What's the connection
between you two?

Our families were friends.

I'll gamble a little.

Try to keep Cordoba entertained.

Make a map of his personal quarters.
Guards, doors, access.

Go in early in the morning.

You've got that much time
to reconsider.

My considering is done.

I'll be there tomorrow.

I'll arrive as an officer
of Cordoba's own regiment...

anxious to join him for
excitement and loot.

You'll be thoroughly

Leonora, are you set?
He didn't exaggerate.

I'll survive.

Your Captain Douglas
is well-suited to Cordoba.

With luck...

they'll kill each other.

It'll be a hell of a climb
up that mountain.

I've been looking at it,
I'm not enjoying the sight.

You two will enjoy it more
about half way up.

If Andy and I can get to the gate,
we'll welcome you in.

What about that lady?

It's a gamble.
If she can hook Cordoba, fine.

If not, we'll do it
the hard way.

In any case, we'll stick to plans.
Climbing equipment?



Dynamite. Two fuses,
slow and fast.


It'll be a hot party.

Right. Get rid of the horses,
and bury the gear.

Halt. Whoa.

Where are you going?

I wish to see
General Cordoba.

And who are you?

Lieutenant Antonio Gutierrez,
a deserter.


So, I followed your example,
but more discreetly.

I found myself trained, skilled,
and bored.

In Mexico City they said you'll own
half of northern Mexico.

I am a greedy man.

A greedy man.
A touching story.

I joined forces with
Lieutenant Gutierrez...

for my own reasons.

Yes, I remember now.

From a hacienda outside Madera,

You remember?

Leonora Cristobal.

Señorita Cristobal,
how could I forget?

I couldn't forget either.

The way you took me...

No man had ever touched me

So, you come back to me
in friendship?


And how shall I welcome you?

With gratitude, I hope.

For what?
For the love of a woman?

For information.
This man is Antonio Gutierrez...

sent here by the Mexican government
to capture you.

With him, are four Yankee soldiers
commanded by Captain Douglas.

What have you done?
I'll kill you!

Excuse me, I forgot to introduce
Major Svedborg.

He's a first class cavalry
officer. And a sadist.

Which is why he had to leave
Sweden to join me.

I overlook cruelty
in exchange for...


and loyalty.

Well, well, well.
Look who's here...

dragging his tail back
and only a week late.

I got cut off,
I had to walk.

You mean you ran off. Then you
heard we had the guns...

so you came back to join
the Revolution. Who is he?

I don't know. I met him
on the road. Another volunteer.

How do?


Where have you been?

I got cut off during the raid.
I got wounded, had to walk back.


In the shoulder.

That's a fresh wound, Texas.

Keep him under guard until
I get back. Him too.

Take their guns.
Keep them under guard.

Stand over there.

We have heard there are
Yankee spies nearby.

They want to destroy the Revolution,
everything you've worked for.

We must find them.

Five men will search the base of
the mountain. The rest, straight out.

We want them alive, if possible.
Let's go.

Come on, move it!
Go on, quickly!

This won't do you any good!

You betrayed Douglas and his men!
But there'll be others!

If she looks this way,
we're snake bit.

She seems to be occupied
for the moment.

This Captain Douglas,
what was his plan?

I was to make love to you,
distract you...

to give them time to destroy
the guns and then take you.

I would think you'd hate me.

You ripped me apart
and went away.

And I hated you.

But you took me.

And you still have me.

Your story better hold up,

We looked everywhere.
No trace of anyone.

Provision a patrol. Search
everything half a day's ride out.

If Svedborg takes us to Cordoba,
that bitch will be right there.

When they stop looking at you,
get lost.

I've got to see
our friend Antonio.

In the cooler?

I'll try.

Get me out later tonight,

I'll get you out.
How the hell will you get in?

The hard way.

Sergeant Ortega.


It's over, boys.

You afraid?

No. I've got other things
on my mind.


I don't know.

I think it's the night. It reminds me
of the darkness of a grave.

Where are you?

Over here.

You're easy to find.

Leonora betrayed me.

How much did she tell?


Come on, give me a hand.

Two things you should never
do with a woman...

argue with them,
and trust them.

Get a piece of paper and make me
a map of Cordoba's rooms.

Cordoba uses the old chapel
as his office.

His private quarters are next to
the cloister in the old dining hall.

Rear entrance?

No. It backs on the cliff.

The only way in is through
the chapel.

That means over the roof.

Is that the entrance?


Charming, isn't it?

Peasant work.
Crude, but reverent.

This was the Father Superior's

I took it for my own.

How pious of you.

The peasants are superstitious.

I use their superstition.

I use whatever comes...

to hand.

- What's up?
- Nothing.


I've orders to bring the prisoner
to the general.

Let's go.

Howdy, Captain.

What time is it?

Nine thirty.

Do as he says.
I'll see you at the stables.

"Buenas noches", Lieutenant.
I brought you a uniform.

Undress him.

Come on.

Have you authorised the removal of
the officer from the guardhouse?


One of the guards and a sergeant
went to take him to the General.

I'll speak to the General.

Colonel, the General requested
privacy for tonight.

Check the guardhouse.
Wait there.

Where is the General?

Who is it?

Your tea, General.

Go away.

Your tea, General.
It's ready.

It's ready, General.


Back off.

General, may I introduce Captain
Douglas, the man I told you about.

I know you talked,
but you got him alone.

That's all I wanted.


It's a shame.


These guns have beautiful

You've got a mechanic's soul.

I like machines,
they can be trusted.

Not like people.

Some people can be trusted.

Yeah, some.

Know what this is?

A flare gun.

Right. Burst of smoke,
burst of fire.

We'll put a shell into
everything that'll burn.

Ammo here,
explosives here...

stored hay.

Got it?



I'm a trained officer.

So far, all I've seen you do
is fall over your own feet.

Your insolence...

Now, look here.

If you want to play soldier with me,
prove you can hold up your end.

I'll prove anything you like.

Let's get moving.

4 minutes.

She's set.

Go ahead.

That's it, get the door open.

Ain't that pretty?

That's it. Keep moving.
Meet at the stables in 10 minutes.

Guard the guns!

What is she doing here?

I missed her.
Come on.

All present and accounted for.
Is she coming along?

If you don't mind.

I never minded a pretty woman
in my whole entire life.

When are we going?

The boys will tell us.

Where's Pete?

He didn't make it.

Bring Cordoba and the girl.



You bastard.


We'll rest the horses here.

I told you once,
my place, my time.


He was my brother.
And you let him die.

I'm sorry your brother
got killed.


Jack, I've known you
a long time.

If it'll make you feel better,
pull the trigger...

but don't look from
any help from me.

You bastard!


He was shot from behind
by one of his own men.

He's been dead since
we left the fortress.

The general's not
going to like that.

Why not?

You destroyed the guns,
Cordoba is dead...

You'll be a hero.

The trouble with being a hero
is the morning after.

Let's bury him.