In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
In this adaptation of the 'Robert Ludlum' (q.v) novel, the host of an investigative news programme has been convinced by the C.I.A. that the friends and associates he's invited to weekend ... See full summary »
Aging ex-marshal Steve Judd is hired by a bank to transport a gold shipment through dangerous territory. He hires an old partner, Gil Westrum, and his young protege Heck to assist him. Steve doesn't know, however, that Gil and Heck plan to steal the gold, with or without Steve's help. On the trail, the three get involved in a young woman's desire to escape first from her father, then from her fiance and his dangerously psychotic brothers. Written by
James Meek <email@example.com>
Sam Peckinpah liked to tease the naive, inexperienced Mariette Hartley. At one point, having been tipped off that Hartley had worn the wrong socks for a scene in which they would not even be seen, Peckinpah pretended to have a major fit, accusing her of ruining the shot. He also kept telling her that if she didn't perform to his liking, he would give her part to Joan Staley, another aspiring young actress of the time. But Hartley took the ribbing good-naturedly and had nothing but admiration and affection for her director. See more »
The "snow" shown on the ground in a number of scenes in the mining camp is obviously foam. This is clear from, for example, the scene when Billy Hammond (James Drury) throws his brother Jimmy (John Davis Chandler) out of the "honeymoon" tent onto his back. The "snow" splatters like foam, not snow. See more »
Don't worry boy. The Lord's bounty may not be for sale but the Devils' is... if you can pay the price.
See more »
Revisonist splendour as Peckinpah starts his thematic obsession.
"All I want is to Enter My House Justified"
Sam Peckinpah's second feature film is today standing up as a must see and must own for those interested in the Western genre.
The film sees ageing lawman Steve Judd land a job of escorting a gold shipment safely to a bank in Hornitos. After running into old friend, and fellow aged lawman Gil Westrun, he hires both he and his young sparky sidekick Heck Longtree to hopefully see the job through to a successful conclusion. Yet Gil has other ideas, for where Steve is upstanding and adhering to the values he has lived his life by, Gil sees this as one last chance to actually get a big payday. The journey takes a further twist as the three men meet and then save Elsa Knudsen from a brutal marriage, it's an incident that puts them all on a collision course with the Hammond brothers.
What we have here is Sam Peckinpah's first film dealing with men who have outlived their time. We witness some emotionally poignant stuff as the two main protagonists know that they have aged beyond their world, yet as alike as they are, they have different ideals in how to deal with the advent of time. The masterstroke here is the casting of genre legends Joel McRea & Randolph Scott as Steve & Gil respectively. It's evident from the off that both men are identifying with their characters, with both men hitting top emotional form to fully realise the thematic heart of the story. Mariette Hartley makes her film debut as Elsa, and she fits in nicely with the quality on show behind and in front of the camera. Lucien Ballard's cinematography is gorgeous as the various California locations envelope the protagonists in a sort of elegiac way, and Peckinpah directs with his heart as well as his head.
Bookended by two heart-achingly super sequences, of which the finale has rightly passed into Western genre legend, this really is a strong and beautiful film. One that shows a truly great director was at work. For here he was left alone, and the final result is a quality Western beating far more than just a cowboy heart. The supporting cast is strong, notably Edgar Buchanan, L.Q. Jones & John Anderson. While the undervalued George Bassman provides a fittingly tonal music score. If there is a criticism, it's that Peckinpah doesn't let the younger characters breath, but given the film's core focus on aged men in an aged passing era: well it's easily forgiven. A precursor to The Wild Bunch for sure, but while the theme is the same for both film's, this one impacts in a very different way. Highly recommended, not just for the Oater crowd, but for fans of classic cinema too. 9/10
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?