A rich Texan, J.W. Grant, selects three men and invites them to his private train to offer them a contract: Rescue his wife who has been kidnapped by a Mexican revolutionary. The leader of the men, Rico, decides they would be a better team if Grant would hire one more man, an explosives expert. Grant quickly agrees and soon the four are off to complete the contract. However, while on the trail, they discover some interesting facts, like has Mrs. Grant 'really' been kidnapped? Written by
'Lee Marvin' was no softy. Behind the scenes stories about him are legendary: raging drunk, womanizer, loyal veteran, consummate professional, etc... every description contrary to the other. Despite their on-screen chemistry, Marvin and Lancaster did not warm up to each other off camera. See more »
Dolworth makes reference to the universe being created with a "big bang", but this theory was likely not known in 1916-18, being first noted by Georges Lemaître in 1927. See more »
Set in the aftermath of the Mexican revolution, this action drama concerns the rescue of a Mexican lady (Cardinale) who is married to a rich, older, white man (Bellamy.) She has been taken from her American home back down to Mexico by notorious outlaw Palance. Bellamy hires a motley crew of mercenaries to retrieve Cardinale, promising them $10,000 each upon her return. The crew is led by tough as nails Marvin and includes free-wheeling dynamite-man Lancaster, sensitive rustler Ryan and archery expert Strode. This foursome sets out across punishing desert terrain to reach Cardinale and bring her back to the U.S. border. The job is at least as difficult as they expected and getting back to the border is as hard, if not harder, than getting to Palance's lair was. The film has an exceptional ensemble cast of pros. The members of the rescue team form an uneasy affection for one another. Stern Marvin and toothy, off-the-cuff Lancaster make a great pair. Ryan adds years of presence to his smallish role and Strode is his usual imposing physical entity. Palance is always a great villain and has some decent moments here. Bellamy does a nice job with his sketchy character. Cardinale is amazingly curvy and attractive even in the dusty surroundings. There is also a healthy dose of strong action, much of it taking place in the impressive domain of Palance. Dots of humor along the way relieve the tension. Time hasn't been particularly kind to Maurice Jarre's offbeat score and the film could have been just a tad shorter, but overall it is an interesting and absorbing action film.
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