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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Buddy Van Horn
As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »
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Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
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
A one-time Steve McQueen-Barbra Streisand vehicle until McQueen met Streisand, and subsequently a Clint Eastwood-Streisand vehicle until Eastwood met Streisand, The Gauntlet sees Clint sending up his Dirty Harry image as a none-too-smart washed out drunken cop escorting Sondra Locke's foul-mouthed "nothing witness in a nothing trial" from Las Vegas to Phoenix and finding the Mob and every cop in two States determined to stop them - even the Vegas bookies are taking bets on ever-lengthening odds (70-1) on their not making it. From the days when Clint still made films in broad daylight and could film interiors without turning all the lights out and seen as wildly over the top at the time (even the famed Frank Frazetta poster art offered Clint as a Conan-esquire muscular figure in ripped shirt with girl in one hand and gun in the other), now it's almost an exercise in naturalism for the genre. Sure there's more firepower on display that in all of Eastwood's previous films combined (including both Where Eagles Dare and Kelly's Heroes!), with cars, houses and buses shot to pieces with gleeful abandon while helicopters crash into power lines, but somehow Michael Butler and Dennis Shryack's script manages to sell the increasing absurdities in a perfectly conceived audience picture that's designed to entertain and does just that.
There's a nice line in self-deprecating wit that never quite crosses the line into outright stupidity and Eastwood's tight direction keeps the action moving without losing sight of the fact that it's the characters that really need to sell the film. Just as importantly the on screen relationship between Eastwood and Locke hadn't overstayed its welcome yet as it quickly would over their subsequent films, their initial vicious sparring giving way to genuinely convincing tenderness in the later scenes, giving you a pair you can actually root for. Great fun if you're not expecting gritty realism - like the end credit says, 'Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily depict those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein.' No **** Sherlock.
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