In 1873, on the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil and has a mysterious past but nobody gives attention to his words. Soon the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Gary Cooper had a full face-lift and other cosmetic surgery on 16 April 1958, two months before filming began. The procedure was carried out at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital by Dr John Converse, one of the leading plastic surgeons in America. Newspaper articles commenting on the effects of the operation said Cooper's face now looked quite different and the procedure had not been successful. See more »
When Dr. Frail returns home from the first poker game he reveals to Rune that they are going to start a new "regime" for their daily activities. A regime is a prevailing form of government. What he should have said was "regimen" which is a regulated course of living. See more »
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail:
Rune, this is Frenchy Plant. Never believe a word he says and never let him get behind you in the dark.
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Every time people talk about great westernS, movies like High Noon, The Searchers, Red River, Stagecoach and The Wild Bunch are always mentioned. I certainly agree, those are great films, but sometimes we overlook other, less known films that are as good, or better that the official classics. This is one of those films. A great, poetic masterpiece, filled with many moments of truth. Gary Cooper is a doctor with a mysterious past, Maria Schell is the blind lady he takes care of, Karl Malden is the greedy gold miner that clashes with Cooper and George C. Scott is a crazy preacher, they are all superb! Great cinematography, unforgettable title tune by Jerry Livingston (the title Song won an Academy Award Nomination) and a heartbreaking ending!
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