Image(s) and Quote(s) of the Day: Robert Aldrich and VERA CRUZ (1954)
“VERA CRUZ was total improvisation because the script was always finished about five minutes before we shot it, and we’d sit right down and work it out and then shoot it as we went along. I’m not sure that that’s the right way to work. It’s easier, perhaps, on a western or a big, sprawling, physical picture. But not on a small and tense personal picture. I think you get much more range of character if you know the whole thing before you start and you sit down and examine it and build it layer by layer rather than discover three-quarters of the way through the picture that he’s not that kind of feller at all.”
“On VERA CRUZ you did it as well as you could, and then you got it and shot it, and then you’d move on.”
--director Robert Aldrich, interviewed by Ian Cameron and Mark Shivas, Movie 8 (April, 1963)
“I’m sixty-three and I’ve had hits every ten years and I just hope I can function long enough to have one in the ‘90s.”
--Aldrich to Roderick Mann, “Los Angeles Times Calendar”, 11 October 1981
Both interviews reprinted in “Robert Aldrich: Interviews”, editors: Eugene L. Miller, Jr. and Edwin T. Arnold (2004: University Press of Mississippi)
VERA CRUZ recently (re)released as part of the Gary Cooper: MGM Movie Legends Collection, along with the silent THE WINNING OF BARBARA WORTH (Henry King, 1926), THE COWBOY AND THE LADY (H.C. Potter, 1938, with a story credit by Leo McCarey), and THE REAL GLORY (Henry Hathaway, 1939).