The Spikes Gang (1974)
In the Old West, impressionable teenagers Will, Les and Tod find an injured bank-robber who asks for their help. At first, the boys are scared and reluctant to help. They're afraid of getting into trouble with the law and their parents. Moved by the wounded man's pleas, they finally agree to hide the robber in Will's barn and clean his wounds. Over the next few days, they bring food, drink and clean clothes to the outlaw whose name is Harry Spikes. When the sheriff and his posse come by and ask questions, Will hides the fact the robber is concealed in his family's barn. After he sufficiently recovers, Harry Spikes thanks the boys for their help and vows to help them in return if they ever need his aid. He takes Will's horse and leaves the county, heading for the Mexican border. Later, Will's parents discover their son's little mischievous secret and administer Will a severe beating to teach him to never lie. Fed up with his father's frequent physical punishments, Will runs away from home. He goes by Les and Tod's homes to bid them farewell. In a powerful thirst for adventure, Les and Tod decide to also run away from home. The three teenagers ride on and vow to have fun without any parental restriction. However, after a few days without food or money, the boys decide to rob a bank. The bank robbery goes wrong and the boys are on the run toward the Mexican border. In Mexico they do menial jobs to sustain themselves. But trouble is never far enough and they end up in a local Mexican jail for breaking into a pawn-shop. Languishing in jail, the boys loose hope but coincidentally Harry Spikes, who passes through town, finds them and bails them out of jail. In the end, he offers them the chance to work with him. The boys agree to form a bank robbing gang with Spikes as their leader.
Three farm boys in the Old West help a wounded bank robber, who teaches him the trade.
- One day, three farm boys come upon a wounded outlaw named Harry Spikes. They take him to one of the boys' barn, nurse him back to health, shield him from a sheriff's posse, and let him go on his way. Later, to escape the tyrannical discipline of their parents, the three boys run away from home in search of adventure and excitement. In the first town they come to, they bungle a bank robbery, and shoot and kill a state senator by accident. Then, with the law in hot pursuit, they flee across the Texas border into Mexico. Upon arriving there, they happily reunite with Harry Spikes. He takes the boys under his wing, teaches them the outlaw's trade, and the four of them cross the border back into Texas. After careful preparation, they attempt a bank robbery that goes horribly wrong. Tragically, the boys discover that Harry Spikes is not the genuine hero that they thought he was. Lee Marvin, Gary Grimes, Ron Howard, and Charles Martin Smith star in this thrilling Western tale that examines the tragic consequences of hero worship and the loss of youthful innocence.