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The extremely low holsters worn by the three boys are so unauthentic to the period as to be downright silly. See more »
Boys, I'm going to be your deliverance and salvation. Now, don't ask me why I'm doing it. It don't make no sense. God knows I could get a dozen better out of any saloon down the street. But you got some spirit, and you got some crawl. And where I come from, you harness a mule but you give a horse a chance to run. How would you boys like to throw in with me?
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The Spikes Gang is a very good western that shows what probably happened to a good many youngsters who struck out on their own in the expanding west. It is one of three westerns that Gary Grimes starred in that gave a darker and truer view of life in the old west for teenager. The others are The Culpepper Cattle Co., 1972 and Cahill, U.S. Marshall, 1973.
Lee Marvin plays a wounded bank robber, (Spikes) on the run from a posse, whom three teens find (Grimes, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith) and nurse back to health. The three youths, small community and under the heavy hand of discipline, become enthralled with Spikes and soon strike out on their own soon after he departs.
After a series of misadventures, the youngsters meet up with Spikes again, who, against his better judgment, takes them under his wing.
The Spikes Gang is a fast paced movie and seems to play upon the anonymity of three teenagers, ill-prepared for a brutal and unforgiving way of life. The one drawback to the pace is that it does not give a good sense for the passage of time, but is effective in emphasizing the few sparks in mundane lives.
As part of the Grimes Western trilogy, one can get a good look at an overly romanticized part of history.
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