Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
Andre De Toth had the town built in Oregon several months before filming so that the structures would be naturally weathered by rain and snow, not artificially dressed by crewmen. When De Toth learned that the workers had neglected to follow his compass headings for the layouts of the streets, he had them rebuild it. See more »
None of the horses has a winter coat of hair. See more »
How long can Bruhn live?
Doc Langer, Veterinarian:
Well, I gave him a big shot of morphine. It deadens pain, makes the patient feel fine, but as soon as this dose wears off, he's going to start coughing. Each cough's going to rip the lungs a little bit more. A few hours after he starts coughing, he's going to die.
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In the end of the Nineteenth Century, the tough cowboy Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan) arrives in the snowing village of Bitters with his foreman Dan (Nehemiah Persoff) with the intention of killing the farmer Hal Crane (Alan Marshal) using the pretext of the barbed wire he is running around his farm. However, Blaise really wants his wife Helen (Tina Louise) with whom he had a love affair. During the showdown between the cowboys and ranchers in the saloon, the violent gang of outlaws led by Captain Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives) appears out of the blue interrupting their quarrel. Jack Bruhn, who is a notorious captain of the army responsible for the massacre of a village of Mormons, disarms the men and explains that they have robbed the payment of the army and a cavalry is chasing them. He is wounded and wants to spend the night in the village and he gives his word to the locals that his gunners will not touch the women. Further he orders the barman to hide the booze from his men. When the local veterinary removes the bullet from the chest of Jack Bruhn, he realizes that he might have an internal bleeding and not survive. Blaise decides to lure the criminals and lead them in a journey with no return.
"Day of the Outlaw" is a bleak and original Western in a snowing landscape and based on a historical fact of North America: the violent confrontation between farmers and ranchers that ran barbed wire around their own land and public land that they used for grazing without permission and people that cut the barbed wire. The cinematography is magnificent and the sequences in the snow are impressive, with the horses submitted to a great effort to ride through the mountains. The performances are stunning with Robert Ryan and Burl Ives in the role of strong and tough characters. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "A Quadrilha Maldita" ("The Damned Gang")
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