1971's VALDEZ IS COMING features Burt Lancaster as a Mexican/American sheriff going up against a wealthy land baron named Frank Tanner to right a wrong.
As the film opens, Valdez (Lancaster) joins the site of a standoff between a man accused of killing the land baron's girlfriend's husband and the land baron's gang of thugs. The black man is holed up in a little hut and being shot at mercilessly by the henchmen.
In hopes of getting to the truth, Valdez approaches the hut and gets the man to open the door, at which point the land baron's men start taking shots and Valdez is forced to kill the man in self defense.
It soon comes out that Tanner was wrong about the man and he was an innocent, shot for no reason.
Valdez wants to do the right thing and collect funds for the man's widow, but he is laughed at, beaten up and abused in his quest for justice.
After Valdez is nearly crucified and left for dead, he begins a quest for revenge against Tanner and his men that fills the last half of the film.
Lancaster, once you get over the pretty bad makeup, is good as Valdez and convincing in his passion to do what's right.
Susan Clark is good as Tanner's girlfriend and a very young Richard Jordan (Logan's Run, The Hunt for Red October) is pretty funny & slimy as the youngest, over eager member of Tanner's gang.
A decent western, based on a book by the great Elmore Leonard. We'll target it with a B-.