An accidental nerve gas leak by the military kills not only a rancher's livestock, but also his son. When he tries to hold the military accountable for their actions, he runs up against a wall of silence.
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In Wyoming, sheep rancher Dan Logan and his teenage son Chris camp out on their land. Their sheep are grazing about while the sheep dog is guarding them. An Army helicopter is seen buzzing around but shortly disappears. Dan sleeps in his tent while Chris sleeps under the stars. In the morning, Dan finds Chris convulsing, unresponsive and bleeding from the nose while his sheep are dead. Dan races to the hospital where the doctors isolate his son and test Dan for signs of illness. A young Army doctor, Major Holliford, working at the hospital as a specialist in biochemical sciences, asks Dan about Chris's symptoms. He suggests that it could be insecticide poisoning. Dan remains in the hospital as a preliminary precaution but the hospital refuses to release him or to allow him to see his son. After a week of lies and delaying tactics from the part of the hospital staff, Dan escapes and finds his son's dead body at the morgue. He vows to find out the truth and punish those responsible. Written by
George C. Scott appeared in other films with actors from this film. Paul Stevens played Colonel Codman in "Patton." Robert Walden appeared with Scott in "Hospital" as did Bernard Hughes. See more »
Although most of the officers are wearing the Vietnam Campaign and Vietnam Service ribbons, none of them wears a patch on their right shoulder depicting the unit they served with in Vietnam. The wearing of such "combat patches" is customary in the U.S. Army. See more »
Who is angrier than George C. Scott? No one, that's who!
***THIS COMMENT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*** Maybe its me but there was something about this film that worked on my nerves like a tongue on a rotten tooth. It's based on a true incident in Utah in which an Army truck dropped a cannister filled with nerve gas and a butt-load of sheep bought the proverbial farm. But if the wind had happened to be blowing in the direction of Salt Lake City that day...
George C. Scott (wearing what looks distractingly like fake eyebrows) directed and stars in this fictionalized account of a farmer and his young son who are accidentally poisoned with nerve gas by the Army.
Perhaps its my own experiences at the hands of prison doctors that makes the many scenes of bloodless technocrats abstractly speaking about the opportunity to study nerve gas symptoms and blithely LYING with their every breath so quietly, eerily effective.
After being lied to in the worst possible way by all responsible, George C. Scott's doomed farmer wreaks some almost Rambo-like revenge! I had heard about this movie for years and always wondered just what sort of havoc Mr Scott would wreak went he went into his RAGE... It was quite something to see him shooting security guards in the face and generally going postal. One can certainly understand where he is coming from. A film like this would never be made today, especially with a major movie star both directing and starring. George C Scott knows how to handle actors--this is probably one of Richard Baseheart's best performances--full of great conflicted emotions and heavy themes to wrestle with--and what a voice that man had! I think that one of the strengths of the story is the semi-documentary feel to the events. There is no giant conspiracy, just an average army-style Cover-Your-Ass situation, with those responsible already well insulated by their positions of power. The revenge enacted by Scott's character is as understandable as it is ultimately ineffective, a message nicely telegraphed by the final image, which I won't divulge here. Suffice it to say, this is one of those strange cinematic oddities from the 70's that has become, unfortunately, once again relevant. After all... if the wind had happened to be blowing towards Salt Lake City that day...
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