Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I guess it was sometime in the early 1980s when I first saw what I believe to be the best Willie Nelson western movie ever made. I had an uncle who happened to be the only member of our family who had cable tv. He would record movies on his vcr and loan them out to us. Right from the get go I loved this movie. I cant explain why, but it has always held a special place in my heart.

Barbarosa is an aging outlaw who is tough as nails, rough as a cob and wise with age. He has been through it all and it shows in his demeanor and weathered face. He was forced into the outlaw life as the result of a misunderstanding which has been perpetuated by the patriarch of the prominent Zavalla family. Anyone who can kill Barbarosa will become a hero in the eyes of the Zavalla family. Barbarosa has now grown tired of being on the run and hunted by members of this family who have all been raised up hearing the many tales of the outlaw gringo.

This movie is full of great scenes and comical exchanges as Barbarosa unwittingly becomes the mentor for a disillusioned farm boy (played by Gary Busey) who, in time, will take up the mantle and carry on the legend of Barbarosa.

One funny scene unfolds as the farm boy finds himself in a gunfight when his "would be" assasin runs out of bullets and has to stop and reload. Barbarosa impatiently looks at his partner and says, "Well... hurry up farm boy... dont let the sunuvabitch reload!"

This is a must see western, but you can only find this one in full screen. I truly hope that the folks in control of this film will one day remaster this film and release it in widescreen format so we can enjoy the cinematography and view the film as it was meant to be seen.

I want to make sure and say thanks to Texas artist Charles Phillip Vaughn for allowing me to use his portrait of "Willie Nelson as Barbarosa" as it perfectly illustrates the essence of this character. Please visit his website to see more of his great work: http://www.cpvaughn.com/index.html

Cap'n Ron