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The Desperados (1969)

During the Civil War, Josiah Galt, a former parson, and his sons David, Jacob and Adam, become a gang of bandits who plunder, rob and rape for pleasure. Disgusted by the massacre of the ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Galt
Laura (his wife)
Benjamin Edney ...
Pauly (his son)
Parson Josiah Galt
Sheila Burrell ...
Emily Galt
Jacob Galt
Adah (his girl)
Adam Galt
Christopher Malcolm ...
John Clark ...
Marshal Kilpatrick
Sheriff Lacey
David Thomson ...
Deputy Tate (as David Thompson)


During the Civil War, Josiah Galt, a former parson, and his sons David, Jacob and Adam, become a gang of bandits who plunder, rob and rape for pleasure. Disgusted by the massacre of the whole population of St. Thomas, Kansas, David drops out of the gang and joins his wife Laura. After their son Pauly was born, David and Laura settle down in Chilon, Texas. A few years later, Galt's gang come there with a view to robbing the local bank. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On Sundays they hardly ever kill anybody!




M | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 February 1969 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Desperados  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


French certificate: 13. See more »


Quantrill's Raiders, a gang of Civil War guerrillas, are using Colt Peacemaker pistols, a weapon that wasn't invented until after the Civil War had ended. See more »

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User Reviews

17 June 2002 | by (North Dakota) – See all my reviews

This 1969 western gives an early take on a dysfunctional family,

and almost works on its incredible action scenes alone.

Jack Palance is the father and leader of a bunch of Confederate

guerillas modelled after Quantrill's Raiders. He and his sons and

men invade towns, stealing money, raping women, and burning

the town to the ground. In one Kansas town, eldest son Vince

Edwards decides the killing needs to stop. Edwards kills one of

his own men by accident during the raid. He is arrested and

sentenced to death in a family run court. With family like this, who

needs in-laws? Anyway, Edwards escapes after kicking little

brother George Maharis' butt, and goes to Texas, changing his

name and living the good life with a wife and son.

In Texas, only marshal Neville Brand knows Edwards' secret.

Soon, Palance's gang sets their sights on Texas, specifically

Edwards' new town. After a deadly raid, some of the gang is jailed.

They escape, and the town finds out their new neighbor is in fact a

cold blooded killer, and a necktie party is thrown for Edwards. He

escapes with Brand, finds Palance's gang, then escapes from

them, knowing when the gang will strike next. Sure is a lot of

escaping going on.

Edwards thwarts a train robbery, killing Maharis. Palance kidnaps

Edwards' son, kills Edwards' wife, and the final showdown

between the two looms. It also turns out completely opposite from

what the viewer may expect.

Levin's direction is very good, and his action scenes are great. The

scenes aboard the flaming runaway train are very exciting. David

Whitaker's musical score is perfect, with bombastic stuff during

the action, pumping the adrenaline and setting the perfect mood.

The main problem is the two leads here. Vince Edwards as

Palance's son? Palance is only nine years older than Edwards,

and they do look the same age. Jack Palance is awful here,

playing the part way over the top and constantly stepping into

unintentionally hilarious melodramatics. Edwards is the opposite,

holding the same constipated look on his face throughout the film,

showing as little emotion as he possibly can. Despite some good

stunts, the fact that these two are in almost every scene brings

down any technical achievements. Even the normally reliable

Neville Brand seems at a loss here.

"The Desperados" is gritty and violent, but Levin's inability to get

control of his actors weighs down the action. I cannot recommend

this film.

This is unrated, and contains physical violence, strong gun

violence, some sexual violence, some gore, some profanity, and

some adult situations.

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