In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, 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.
A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson
Will Penny, an aging cowpoke, takes a "line-rider" job on a vast cattle ranch requiring him to keep trespassers and squatters moving till they're off the property. Ironically, he discovers that the mountain cabin reserved for the line rider has been appropriated by Catherine Allen and her young son, Horace, whose guide has deserted them en route to Oregon to join Catherine's husband. Too soft-hearted and ashamed to kick mother and child out just as the bitter Rocky Mountains winter sets in, he agrees to share the cabin until the spring thaw. But it isn't just the snow that slowly thaws; lonely man and woman soon forget their considerable dissimilarities and start developing a deep, if awkward and unstated, love for each another. Beyond this, Horace finds in Will the father he's never known, and Will finds in Horace the son he's never known he's wanted. The trio's little refuge is then invaded by Bible-quoting Preacher Quint and his murderous family of "rawhiders," who'd earlier nearly... Written by
This picture was theatrically released only a week after another Charlton Heston movie, Planet of the Apes (1968). That film was widely released on April 3, 1968, just seven days before this picture's debut on April 10, 1968. See more »
When "preacher" Quint is shot in front of the line shack the rope attached to him to pull him backwards is very obvious and very noticeable. See more »
Hell, one job's all I need. Sharin' a blanket don't make us married.
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Not many people think of WILL PENNY when they think of the great westerns, but it certainly deserves to be remembered. A simple tale of an aging cowboy (Charlton Heston) being nursed back to health by a woman (Joan Hackett), and then having to protect her and her young son (Jon Gries, son of the director) from the slimy characters who left him to die, the film is headlined by a wonderful, understated performance from screen veteran Heston, undoubtedly one of his finest. Joan Hackett also gives a great, if somehow delicate, performance. Donald Pleasence is a delight as always as the sadistic Preacher Quint, and there's good support from Lee Majors (in his major film role), Anthony Zerbe and Ben Johnson (both of whom, sadly, never really get to do much), character actor Slim Pickens in a small role, and Bruce Dern in one of his countless villain parts. And Gries is good as the boy.
The cinematography is beautiful, especially once the story moves to the snow-covered terrain where much of the film plays out. A little slow at first, but the pacing soon picks up and moves nicely. My only complaint is that the film's score is at times overbearing and distracting, but not enough to ruin the enjoyment of the film. All together, a fine little gem of a movie that should be remembered if AFI ever does a 100 Greatest Westerns special.
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