While tailing a murder suspect, private detective Frazee follows the suspect into a poker game. When one of the players reveals he knows the location of a lost wagon train full of gold, everyone in the game is suddenly bound up in an expedition into the desert to find the treasure. But heat, sand, wind, and the revelation of personal secrets combine to threaten not only the treasure hunt but the lives of the hunters as well. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
John Sturges, later to direct The Magnificent Seven and Bad Day at Black Rock, does extremely well with this little sleeper about modern day westerners hunting for a lost gold caravan in the California desert. William Bishop isn't bad as the honest murder fugitive, and John Ireland and Arthur Kennedy are strong as usual as a couple of not-very-ethical types. Randolph Scott gets to play some interesting notes here as a horse rancher caught up in the hunt, and the supporting parts are all well played. The sandstorm in the last act is really terrifically exciting, and speaking as one who's filmed during a sandstorm, it's hard to believe the stars put up with filming such a long sequence in those conditions. My hat's off to them and to Sturges for a fine little movie, written by Alan Le May (of The Searchers and The Unforgiven fame).
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