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The gangster Colorado kidnaps Marshal McKenna. He believes that McKenna has seen a map which leads to a rich vein of gold in the mountains and forces him to show him the way. But they're not the only ones who're after the gold; soon they meet a group of "honorable" citizens and the cavalry crosses their way too - and that is even before they enter Indian territory. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Spectacular Western with stellar cast and breathtaking outdoors
This is one of the major movies of 1969 . It is a marvelously rambling frontier fable packed with extraordinary incidents, amazing encounters , nasty characters and virtuous rewards . It follows a sheriff (Gregory Peck) and a group of ambitious men (formed by all star cast : Omar Shariff , Elli Wallach, Lee J. Cobb, Edward G. Robinson, Raymond Massey, Keenan Wynn and many others) in search for gold in a big lost canyon and being pursued by soldiers(Telly Savalas) and Indians.
This is an overwhelming Matinée Western plenty of intrigue, double-crosses, gold-lust clichés, adventures and action-packed especially in its final part ; ending in an abrupt, ironic denouement. The film is an exciting story though disjointed and with numerous loose ends ; it is originally written by Carl Foreman and based on the novel by Will Henry. Some ridiculous especial effects such as the bridge scenes at the beginning and abundant matte paintings. Furthermore, contains excessive use of absurd transparency. Packs a colorful and glimmer cinematography in Panavision , shot at Monument Valley from Arizona and Utah. Moving and stirring musical score by Quincy Jones with today classic songs by Jose Feliciano. The film is lavishly produced by Carl Foreman who formerly produced some excellent movies . The motion picture is regularly directed by J.L. Thompson (1914-2002) during his splendorous and successful time in the 60s, when he directed ¨Cape fear¨, ¨Taras Bulba¨ and ¨Guns of Navarone¨; though in his last period he only directed Charles Bronson vehicles, such as ¨Death wish 4¨, ¨Kinjite¨, ¨St. Ives¨,¨Messenger of Death¨, among others. This delicious embarrassing movie will appeal to Gregory Peck devotees. Rating : 6'5 , acceptable and passable.
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