In the mid-19th century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western US. Tadlock is a highly principled and demanding taskmaster who is as hard on himself as he is on those who have joined his wagon train. He clashes with one of the new settlers, Lije Evans, who doesn't quite appreciate Tadlock's ways. Along the way, the families must face death and heartbreak and a sampling of frontier justice when one of them accidentally kills a young Indian boy. Written by
The trio of stars compensate for an otherwise cliche-ridden journey
What could possibly go wrong with a movie starring Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, and Richard Widmark that is also based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel? Quite a bit. For instance, there's routine direction by Andrew V. McGlaglen, who also directed some of John Wayne's most routine westerns in the 60s. Then there's a cliche-ridden script filled with plots and subplots leftover from a dozen daytime soaps. Still, I rather liked it when it was first released, and still find it entertaining because of its three stars. And, back in 1967, who would have ever believed that Sally Field, who was still best known as TV's "Gidget" when this film was released, had two Oscars in her future while the three legends heading the cast wouldn't even win one?
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?