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Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse-thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the sheriff, the bank - and each other.
Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
U.S. Border Patrol agent Charlie Smith just wants to do a good job and provide for his wife. But between her demands for a more affluent lifestyle and the importuning of Charlie's partner Cat to take part in illegal activities in exchange for bribes, Charlie gets caught up in helping smuggle illegal immigrants across the Texas border. When one of them, a young Mexican girl named Maria, loses her baby to abductors who plan to sell the child, Charlie decides to take a stand for her and against the corruption he's fallen into. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jack Nicholson gives a wonderfully controlled performance in this film. His restraint and control is contrasted to Harvey Keitel's fallen character and to his out-of-control, childish wife (Valerie Perrine). He works in dishonest circumstances in which he enforces the law selectively in a tacit arrangement with crooked businessmen. In so doing he is a part of the exploitation of Mexican workers. When he transfers from L.A. to Texas, his conscience is awakened by his dishonest co-worker and a beautiful, victimized Latina (Elpidia Carillo) and her child.
There is plenty of action and the story moves in response to the characters.
Freddy Fender and Ry Cooder provide memorable and haunting music that just makes the whole film so much more powerful.
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