Lawyer Ralph Anderson arrives in Tula, an amazingly remote town in the desert, as reluctant emissary of mob chief Victor Massonetti, who wants the airstrip clear for his unofficial exit ... See full summary »
Lawyer Ralph Anderson arrives in Tula, an amazingly remote town in the desert, as reluctant emissary of mob chief Victor Massonetti, who wants the airstrip clear for his unofficial exit from the country. Ralph's arrival has a profound effect on his estranged father, the sheriff; his brother Tip, an alcoholic deputy; and his ex-sweetheart Linda, now married to Tip. Tension builds as a small army of gangsters takes over the town. Then the situation abruptly changes... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Prodigal son (Widmark) must get top gangster (Cobb) across desert to justice despite opposition from gang and family rivalries.
Pretty good suspenser if you can get past that over-long, over-done early scene where Widmark and Louise make moon-calf eyes at each other. After that the narrative settles into a decent contest of wits. One thing for surethey didn't have to build many sets. There's a huge swath of desolate California desert the cars get to roll across, while I'm thirsty just watching this.
There're maybe more family convolutions than the story needs. I expect much of that is to build up Tina Louise's part. And what a dish she is, several years before Gilligan's Island. I will say they wisely de-glamorized her for the rustic part here. It's a good cast, though the 46-year old Widmark is a little long-in-the-tooth for his role; plus, the great Lee J. Cobb has less to do than I would expect.
Nonetheless, the premise plays out nicely in the abandoned diner and in that final twist that I didn't see coming. There's nothing special here, just an entertaining 90-minutes with a good cast and a big part of California that sure ain't Hollywood.
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