Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the ... See full summary »
A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
Monte Walsh is an aging cowboy facing the ending days of the Wild West era. As barbed wire and railways steadily eliminate the need for the cowboy, Monte and his friends are left with fewer and fewer options. New work opportunities are available to them, but the freedom of the open prairie is what they long for. Eventually, they all must say goodbye to the lives they knew, and try to make a new start. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lee Marvin and Jack Palance previously starred together in "I Died A Thousand Times" (1955), "Attack" (1956), and "The Professionals" (1966). Marvin and Palance also both earned their Oscars for comedic roles in westerns: Marvin for "Cat Ballou" (1965) and Palance for "City Slickers" (1991). See more »
At about the 40-41 minute mark when Shorty is leaving the crew, he is holding a green plastic or vulcanized tarp with grommets, very similar to those issued in WWII. See more »
A stunning tribute to a way of life as it fades in America
Of all the Western movies I've seen over the years - and it's been quite a few - this is one of the most outstanding. It's really about the honorable way of earning a living by working with and breaking horses and being a cowboy. As that way of lifestyle and profession reach their final stages and start to fade away in America, Palance and his cronies face losing their livelihood, their dignity and their ruggedly-independent way of life. An entire culture stands on the brink of oblivion and the viewer can only be touched by the deeply sensitive way that is handled in this movie and by the incredible performance Palance give as a stoic but caring man who is facing having his whole world shaken and shattered. Palance knows in his heart of hearts that he would rather die than give up his threatened lifestyle. It's hard and it's tough and it's certainly a man's world but it's an honorable and once-honored means of earning a crust or two, and one can't help but share Palance's pain when one of his closest friends goes off the rails and turns to crime when he loses his job as a cowboy. And you feel for him too when he cannot commit to a softer way of life settling down with Jean Moreau, choosing instead to head off "into the sunset" in the vague and obviously vain hope of everything turning around and turning out all right in the end. That's what makes the unbelievably catchy song The Good Times Are Coming so heart-achingly sad. You just know that those good times aren't really coming - they're behind him. No Hollywood glamor here, just a wonderful portrayal of an unambitious but totally honest man who wants to keep on enjoying his times with the boys, riding herds and busting broncos, and refusing to recognize that those days are gone forever. A five-star Western if ever I saw one.
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