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Western films, from silent to today

Chapaqua’s Gold (1970)

Chapaqua's Gold (1970) posterTwo partners — “Doc” Harrison (George Addison) and Chapaqua (Boby Lapointe) — wind up with $100,000 in gold bars.

Rather than risk being caught spending all that loot, they decide to stash it in a cavern until after the Civil War.

Since they can’t trust one another, they decide to travel to the hiding place taking turns being blind-folded. That way neither one can retrieve the gold without the other.

Well, the Civil War ends and Harrison heads to the town of White Canyon, deciding it’s time to cash in that fortune. Turns out Chapaqua and his bandit gang have made a few enemies in the interim and are hiding in the hills outside town.

Inside town, there’s a well-off and lovely young lady name Moira (Linda Veras) who wouldn’t mind being better off by snagging a portion of that $100,000.

And there’s a Yankee-hater named Murphy who despises her for buying up property in White Canyon and Harrison for the uniform he wore during the war.

And so the double crosses begin.

Rating 2 out of 6Review:

The highlights: a fun score by Luis Bacalov and a film in which Linda Veras finally gets to do something more than look pretty. She’s a gal with lots of feminine charms, and who isn’t bashful about using them to get what she wants, which in this case is the gold.

She’s responsible for the film’s two most memorable scenes. In one, she drugs “Doc” with ether so he’ll reveal the location of the golden, then awakens him with those charms. In the other, she winds up tied in bed by Chapaqua, who threatens to sic his bandits on her. Having been a captive of the Indians for a while, she’s unimpressed. And, when one breathes fire at her, she asks if he’d like her to find him a job with a rodeo.

But … the premise of the film is ridiculous. After all, what would happen should one of our partners be killed in the war? And lots more silliness follows. Chapaqua insists on speaking in a Mexican accent though he isn’t Mexican. Plus there’s lots of filler with soldiers and bandits and, at one point, seemingly a whole village of Mexicans, riding and roaming around the hills outside White Canyon.

Directed by:
Giancarlo Romitelli
as Don Reynolds

Cast:
George Addison … Jack “Doc” Harrison
Linda Veras … Moira
Boby Lapoint … Chapaqua
as Bobby La Pointe
Marco Zuaneli … Mexico
Osiride Pevarello … Jose
Rik Battaglia … Murphy
Frederico Boido … Billy George Black
as Rick Boyd
Piero Lulli … Maj. Garrett
Paolo Magalotti … Sgt. Johnson

aka
L’ Oro dei bravados
Chapaqua
Chapagua
Gold of the Heroes

Score: Luis Bacalov

Runtime: 90 min.

Memorable lines:

Harrison: “You know this part of the country?”
Mexico: “Like my empty pocket.”

Murphy to “the Yankee bitch” Moira, who’s been buying up pieces of his Southern town: “When I get through with you, you’ll beg me to let you sell everything for 10 cents.”

Moira, looking at herself in a mirror: “I guess I’d say the old warhorse looks young enough. It’s the pure heart that does the trick. Or some of the tricks I should say. The ones that are sweet and simple.”

Moira, after one of Chapaqua’s men has threatened her with a fire breathing trick: “Marvelous. I know a man who organizes rodeos in Arkansas. I’ll talk to him for you if you’d like, Jose.”

Garrett, after being shot by the lovely lady: “Moira.”
Moira: “I knew you’d never forget my name. Poor, Garrett. He had no idea that the only thing I needed him for was to help me carry the gold.”

Trivia:

Several Civil War paintings flash on the screen to indicate the passing of the Civil War. Several of those are portions of the Gettysburg cyclorama painting still on display at the National Park Service Museum there.

Boby LaPointe was much better known as a French singer-songwriter than as an actor, though it was a role as a singing bartender in a 1960 film “Shoot the Piano Player” that boosted him to fame. “Marcelle,” a tune from that film, became his first hit on the French pop charts. He died of cancer at age 50 in 1972, just two years after this film was released. In 2002, a group of French pop singers recorded a tribute album to him called “LaPointe Tutti Frutti.”

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