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The Gauntlet (1977)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  21 December 1977 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 14,643 users  
Reviews: 101 user | 32 critic

A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill McKinney ...
Mara Corday ...
Jail Matron
Bookie (as Douglas McGrath)
Jeff Morris ...
Desk Sergeant
Samantha Doane ...
Dan Vadis ...
Carver Barnes ...
Bus Driver
Robert Barrett ...


In Phoenix, the alcoholic and mediocre detective Ben Shockley is assigned by the Chief Commissary Blakelock to bring the witness Gus Mally from Las Vegas for a minor trial. Shockley travels to Vegas and finds that Gus Malley is an aggressive and intelligent prostitute with college degree and she tells him that the odds are against her showing up in court. Shockley learns that she will actually testify against a powerful mobster and the mafia is chasing them trying to kill them both. He calls Blakelock and request a police escort from Phoenix to protect them. But soon he discovers that someone is betraying him in the police department. Now, Shockley and Malley hijack a bus and Shockley welds thick steel plates and transforms the cabin in an armored bus trying to reach the Forum. But they will need to drive through a gauntlet of police officers armed with heavy weapons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Clint Eastwood is the man in the middle of The Gauntlet


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ruta suicida  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The illustration on the film's original theatrical release poster was by Frank Frazetta. See more »


In Las Vegas the odds for a horse called "Mally No Show" keep increasing. It is revealed that there is no such horse and it gambling device to show that the mob is betting that Shockley will fail to get the witness to court. However, horse racing uses Parimutuel betting. Therefore, you cannot bet that a horse will lose. In parimutuel betting the odds of one horse goes up because more money is bet on other horses to win. See more »


Gus Mally: [kicks Eastwood in the testicles] Sorry, just had to jog your thinking!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A disclaimer at the end reads: "Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily represent those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein." See more »


Referenced in Skinned Alive (1990) See more »


Just A Closer Walk with Thee
See more »

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User Reviews

Reading between the lines
11 January 2005 | by (california) – See all my reviews

Hands down, Sondra Lockes best performance.So then,why does this film need all the over the top violence? It does so because most men won't want to admit they like a love story, or go to the movies to see one. This movie is a top rate love story, from beginning to end. What possibly could this movie have in common with Fight Club,,or even As Good as it Gets? In Fight Club, Ed Norton meets a girl that he obviously can not handle , so he reinvents himself. Same with Ben Shockley. He meets his match, so he must act quickly, making up a story about snakes at the cave. He then thinks on his feet, and acquires himself a bike, impressing the girl and cementing their alliance. Jack Nicholson breaks down to Helen Hunt and claims "You make me want to be a better man".Estwood starts saying please, and and emotes a deep trust in his counterpart; He realizes he must soften up a little to keep the lady around.He does. Shockley isn't some phony Top Gun hero who loses the girl, he's a loser who does what he has to get the woman in love with him, and it works, this is his only chance at love.

This is Lockes best film. Is it because of the acting or is this Lockes personality? She does it well enough where you honestly believe she is ad libbing at least half of her lines, pulling them off the top of her tongue. She sizzles, oozing sex in the back seat of the cop car. You honestly believe she is so used to verbal abuse that she sits there and takes the insults. She is just playing possum, lying in wait. She takes her turn, and delivers a knockout counter-punch to the constable,forcing his mind to admit that he is just a sleazeball flunkie. What is best, is that nothing but honesty and cold reality come out of her mouth. Eastwood accepts the truth, and lives. The constable refuses, and dies. Locke is the anti-feminazi. She saves her mans life, and immediately wants to go back to being a real woman, in his arms.This movie deserves a ten, because the action scenes are just there so people can handle all of the raw truth in the movie. A must buy.

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