In the early 20th century, some convicts while on a road gang escape and one of the convicts is Zach Provo, a half Indian, who was sent to prison during the latter part of the 19th century.... See full summary »
In the early 20th century, some convicts while on a road gang escape and one of the convicts is Zach Provo, a half Indian, who was sent to prison during the latter part of the 19th century. He escapes with 6 others to exact vengeance on Sam Burgade the lawman who not only captured him but was also responsible for the death of Provo's wife, at least in Provo's mind. Part of his plan is to kidnap Burgade's daughter, which prompts him to strap on his guns and go after him on horseback. Can Burgade who has been retired for sometime still have what it takes to track Provo down? Written by
After award-winning composer Leonard Rosenman recorded a score for the film, which he personally didn't care for but was given freedom to be experimentally creative, the score was rejected. While Jerry Goldsmith is credited with "Music" on the film's credits, the credit is misleading as he composed no original score for the film, instead it was tracked with cues from various other scores he did, including "100 Rifles". Which is why he did not receive a credit like "Original Music composed & Conducted by". See more »
After having his ear shot by Shelby, Gant shows no sign of the injury in the next scenes, no scab, scar, blood or bandage, nothing. See more »
Pima County Sheriff Noel Nye:
Well, don't worry about it, Sam. We'll get him. Yeah, we got automobiles, telegraph, the railroad. I ain't ever heard of anyone out run a telephone yet.
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"The Last Hard Men", based on the novel "Gun Down" by Brian Garfield of "Death Wish" fame, is an effectively harsh, intense Western made in the Peckinpah style, utilizing the common Western theme of changing times and the weary veterans coming to terms with this reality. Charlton Heston displays quiet strength as former lawman Sam Burgade, whose nemesis Zach Provo (James Coburn) has escaped from a road gang with his accomplices. Provo, a half breed, is obsessed with exacting vengeance upon Burgade after a past shootout had resulted in the death of Provo's wife. As Burgade puts it, vengeance is basically all that Provo lives for now and that there would be a big hole in his life to fill without that hatred. Provo's particularly insidious plan involves the kidnapping of Burgade's daughter Susan (ever lovely Barbara Hershey), upon whom Provo will unloose his drooling degenerate pals if Burgade doesn't come to face him. Give this movie, directed by Western pro Andrew V. McLaglen, credit for going to a place not typically considered in the Western by having the outlaw gang actually force itself on poor Susan. The violence is also definite post-"The Wild Bunch" stuff with a fair bit of the red stuff flowing as the movie goes along. As would be important for any Western, the scenery is shown in all of its breathtaking glory, and the period recreation handled well, and the music score by the consistently reliable Jerry Goldsmith hits all the right, rousing notes. As the climactic action plays out, it's equal parts suspenseful and exciting. Coburn oozes menace as the seething, vengeance-crazed Provo, and his gang is comprised of men such as Jorge Rivero, Thalmus Rasulala (who unfortunately doesn't get a whole lot to do), Larry Wilcox of CHiPs, Morgan Paull, John Quade, and Robert Donner. Quade is especially good as a true creep. Christopher Mitchum, son of Robert, also comes off well as the "greenhorn" who Burgade realizes he has underestimated. But the most interesting performance in the whole thing is that by Michael Parks, playing the low key, reform minded, not terribly efficient sheriff. "The Last Hard Men" is good if not great, and is a suitably entertaining movie while it lasts. Seven out of 10.
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