IMDb > The Spikes Gang (1974)
The Spikes Gang
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The Spikes Gang (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Irving Ravetch (screenplay) and
Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Spikes Gang on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
11 April 1974 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Three boys wanted to be like their hero. Harry Spikes. They got their wish. Soon they were worth a fortune. DEAD or ALIVE.
Plot:
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(3 articles)
Mr. Majestyk | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 12 August 2014, 6:00 AM, PDT)

DVD Playhouse--March 2011
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 1 March 2011, 12:01 AM, PST)

Western Wednesdays: ‘The Spikes Gang’
 (From The Flickcast. 14 April 2010, 4:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The name's Spikes, Harry Spikes. I'm a bank robber boys. See more (14 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lee Marvin ... Harry Spikes

Gary Grimes ... Will

Ron Howard ... Les

Charles Martin Smith ... Tod (as Charlie Martin Smith)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Kid White

Noah Beery Jr. ... Basset (as Noah Beery)
Marc Smith ... Abel Young
Don Fellows ... Cowboy
Elliott Sullivan ... Billy

Robert Beatty ... Sheriff (credit only)
Ralph Brown ... Posse Leader
Bill Curran ... Gillis
Ricardo Palacios ... Doctor
David Thomson ... Sheriff of Carrizo Springs
Bert Conway ... Bank Teller
Adolfo Thous ... Pawnbroker
Allen Russell ... Morton (as Allen E. Russell)
Frances O'Flynn ... Mrs. Young
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rafael Albaicín ... Shopkeeper (uncredited)
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Directed by
Richard Fleischer 
 
Writing credits
Irving Ravetch (screenplay) and
Harriet Frank Jr. (screenplay)

Giles Tippette (novel "The Bank Robber")

Produced by
Richard Fleischer .... producer
Walter Mirisch .... producer
Irving Ravetch .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Fred Karlin 
 
Cinematography by
Brian West (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Frank J. Urioste 
Ralph E. Winters 
 
Art Direction by
Julio Molina 
 
Set Decoration by
Antonio Mateos 
 
Makeup Department
Mariano García Rey .... makeup artist (as Mariano Garcia Rey)
 
Production Management
Tom Pevsner .... production supervisor
José María Rodríguez .... production manager (as José María Rodriguez)
Francisco Ruiz .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Antonio Tarruella .... first assistant director (as Tony Tarruella)
 
Art Department
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George Stephenson .... sound
Frank E. Warner .... sound editor (as Frank Warner)
Jack R. Woltz .... sound re-recordist
 
Special Effects by
Antonio Parra .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Carlos Esteban Adrada .... grip
Ricardo Arenas .... gaffer (as Ricardo Arenas Ariño)
Neil Gemmell .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Agustín Jiménez .... wardrobe (as Agustin Jimenez)
 
Music Department
George Brand .... music editor
 
Other crew
Isabel Mulá .... script supervisor (as Isabel Mula)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | USA:PG (certificate #23769) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The extremely low holsters worn by the three boys are so unauthentic to the period as to be downright silly.See more »
Quotes:
Will Young:Mr. Spikes is never broke. He's never hungry, either.
Tod Hayhew:What made you think of him all of a sudden.
Will Young:Looking at that bank. You know what he would do if he was in our shoes? He's walk in that bank, pull out his gun and say: it's all baloney, so slice me some.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin (2000) (TV)See more »

FAQ

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The name's Spikes, Harry Spikes. I'm a bank robber boys., 2 September 2013
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

The Spikes Gang is directed by Richard Fleischer and adapted to screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. from the novel The Bank Robber written by Giles Tippette. It stars Lee Marvin, Gary Grimes, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith. Music is by Fred Karlin and cinematography by Brian West.

Happening upon an injured man, three boys nurse him back to health and learn that he is bank robber Harry Spikes (Marvin). Enchanted by his tales and way of life, the boys decide to form their own gang and eventually linking up with Spikes who then teaches them the tricks of his trade. However, the outlaw life is not as romantic as the boys first envisaged...

It's filmed in DeLuxe Color and the location photography is out of Tabernas, Almería, Andalucía in Spain. Yet the colours and landscape contours are not vivid, they are deliberately pared back so as to not give the impression this is a vibrant yeehaw tale of young spunkers on the lam. The Spikes Gang is ripe with a foreboding atmosphere about the innocence of youth corrupted by stretching too far for romanticism. The boys home life out there on the frontier is painted as sad, even grim, with bad or absent parents featuring strongly, it's not hard to buy into the fact these impressionable young men in waiting yearn for adventure.

Once out there striding for fortune and notorious glory, the lads find the harsh realities of outlaw life. No money means no food, and to rob people you have to be prepared to use violence, and to then take the consequences of those actions, be it emotionally or by having a price then put on your own young heads. Hooking up with Spikes seems the cool thing to do, he becomes a surrogate father and he at least gives them skills to survive a basic outlaw way of life. There's hope dangled, even much humour inserted into the narrative, but there's always an air of disillusionment lurking around the corner as this character study unscrews the myths of the West.

Which leads to what? A moral lesson? Perhaps? Well what we do know is that it builds gently, with Fleischer adroitly forming his characters and garnering superb performances from his cast (one of Marvin's best turns actually) in the process. Once the finale plays its hand, it's of such sadness to leave an indelible impression that anyone of sound heart will find hard to shake from the memory bank. Western legends Arthur Hunnicutt and Noah Beery pop in to the picture to add some weight, the former quite excellent with a pitiful characterisation that really kick- starts the emotional wattage, while the contributions of Karlin and West are faultless in terms of screenplay alliance.

Judged harshly by the jaded critics of the time and mostly ignored at the box office, The Spikes Gang may just be one of the most under valued Westerns of the 70s. Whether it was bad timing due to the direction the Western genre was taking at the time of release I'm not sure, but this is an elegiac treat waiting to be rediscovered by the Western lover. 8/10

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