In 1935, after 40 years in a West Virginia prison, three released convicts wish to open a legitimate business using the 25 thousand dollars earned in jail but a crooked prison guard in cahoots with the town banker plan to defraud them.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
'Doc' Council
Lee Cottrill
Johnny Jesus
Roy K. Sizemore
Steve Mystic
Chanty (as Kathy Cannon)
Junior Kilfong
Willis Hubbard
Homer Grindstaff
Enoch Purdy
James Lee Barrett ...
Sonny Boy
Kitty Jefferson Doepken ...
Dwight McConnell ...
Station Master


When a trio of ex-convicts led by Mattie Appleyard is released from prison, they hope to open a general store using money Mattie has saved during his 40-year sentence. This attempt is met with great resistance from a corrupt prison official and the banker who issued Mattie the check. Written by Greg Helton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every greedy gun-toter in the hills is after this fool and his money! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Thriller


GP | See all certifications »




Release Date:

October 1971 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Die Gnadenlosen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor) (as Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filmed in Moundsville, West Virginia, which was the hometown of Davis Grubb, author of the novel. See more »


When Homer Grindstaff is supposed to be locking the bank door early in the movie, the key is clearly not even in the lock. He is merely making a gesture by fiddling with the key. See more »


Lee Cottrill: Mattie talked about dynamite all the time, but I never listened!
See more »


References Ridin' for Justice (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

James Stewart in one of his best!
1 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film: Starts off, Typical STEWART- The very beginning of this film is almost Hitchcock-ian.

Stewart is a released convict who has saved $25,000 over the 40 years of his imprisonment. A "Murderer," he is accompanied by a "Bank Robber" Strother Martin and "Rapist" - A teenage Kurt Russel.

The year is 1935 and on release from work prison in "Glory," a fictional town in Virginia: they are "accompanied" (By Double Barreled Shotgun) to the train leaving town by bible-spouting (And slime encrusted) George Kennedy (With Really Nasty Ugly Shark-like Teeth).

As they board the train, Kennedy spouts threatening innuendo- And as the train begins to roll, we know that the train is not going to the intended rendezvous, and the suspense embedded in the film during this point, before we know exactly what is going to happen is very Hitchcock-ified. And this is where I stop lest there be spoilers.

Directed and Produced by Victor McLaglen's son Andrew: And so the homage to Hitchcock may or may not be intended as James Stewart had starred in no less than 4 Hitchcock films and was one of Hitch's best leading men.

The screen is graced also by an Anne Baxter under caked on makeup, which is rather great... She almost-reprises her role as Eve (All About Eve) in her greed... Which is not apparent at first, but once she finds out that there is a large sum of money floating about... The greed of the Baxter character is poetically dealt with in a most humorous fashion, and is a refreshing comical "Handle" for the viewer in the middle of this film.

Even through there are spots where the pace of the film seems to lag, this did not harm my interest in seeing what was going to happen at the end.

Production wise, it is obvious that this is an early 70's almost TV-like movie: The only thing that gives away the fact that this was a theatrical release was the Wide Screen Aspect Ratio.

This is well worth seeing, especially if you watch Vertigo first. Wonderful Film.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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