Sven Hanson is one of a number of farmers whom Ed McNeil wants to run off their land (because he knows there's oil on it). When Hanson is murdered by McNeil's gunman, Johnny Crale, Hanson's friend Pepe Mirada hides his knowledge of the murderer's identity in order to protect his family. When Hanson's son George arrives and takes up his father's cause, not only Mirada but also Johnny Crale begin to reevaluate their attitudes. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nedrick Young, who plays Johnny Crale, actually wrote much of the script, but because he had been blacklisted as a "subversive" during the McCarthy Red Scare period, he was not credited for it. See more »
When oil is discovered on the properties of peaceful homesteaders, fat-cat Sebastian Cabot sends his one-handed gunman to terrorize them into leaving. When stubborn Swedish whaler Sterling Hayden's father is killed by them, he takes on the bad guys with only a harpoon and the truth!
The premise is a bit familiar but the story is artfully told with great acting by all involved. Hayden plays an offbeat, interesting, and unconventional western hero and Cabot is a wonderfully sleazy villain. However, Academy Award winning screenwriter Nedrick Young gives the film's best performance as Cabot's vile hired killer.
Entertaining from start to finish, this is a really compelling low-budget movie that really knows what buttons to push, especially as Hayden tries to get his neighbors to break their fearful code of silence.
The final showdown, glimpsed in the opening scene, is both memorable and exciting
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