I have something very important to tell you. I have just learned that the federales have put a price on my head. Ten pesos! Yes, that's right! Ten stinking pesos! I don't know about you, but this makes me very angry. There is a bandit from Durango who has not robbed and killed near as many innocent people as I have... and the price on his head is 10,000 pesos!
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Although a few of the particularities that distinguish successful director Burt Kennedy's slow paced Westerns are to be found here in this film made for television, they yet are beneath a standard he has established in his most successful works, with a result that the piece is barely tolerable, generating very little of interest that might keep a viewer's attention focused upon the narrative. One will be expected to believe that a plot depicting two American adventurers journeying through the heart of civil strife torn 1895 Mexico in a train bearing a large load of dynamite, all the while attempting to evade unfriendly actions of Federale troops, anti-Porfirio Diaz rebels, hostile Apache Indians, and persistent Wells Fargo agents, might promise a great deal of action and suspense, but such fail to develop due to a weakly constructed script. The American pair, Cross (Willie Nelson) and Boone (Jack Elam), are on the lam from the U.S., having stolen a substantial supply of gold that Cross has secreted, and after they are captured by Mexican police, they are saved from death before a firing squad because of a promise they make to lead their captors to their cache of loot. On the way to the treasure, the entourage adds on a stranded rail car outfitted to house five prostitutes, and their procuress, played by Delta Burke, the women soon becoming an added but welcome burden to the bandit team during the essentially schematic episodes that follow. Direction from Kennedy, who as well produces and scripts here, is flabby throughout and the poorly composed screenplay, that includes a surfeit of anachronisms, misses on all cylinders, while Nelson is wooden and attacks his lines, thereby preventing character development. Elam receives the greatest amount of screen time, as a crusty old bandit. Burke's madam, in addition to her charges, are always perfectly coiffed, made up, and dressed, and it is a secure presumption that the Old West never saw such bewitching scarlet women, that additionally possess a remarkable talent for remaining clean and well-groomed, an ability shared, albeit to a lesser extent, by low-grade thieves Cross and Boone. The film apparently is meant to provide comic elements, but there is precious little comedic about the affair, with an unintended exception of a curiously superfluous number of scenes featuring rolling stock, quite as if the film's production team is attempting to establish a milestone figure for the greatest amount of footage involving moving trains, primarily shot in scenic regions of New Mexico and Colorado, to an extent that is more risible than pertinent to the storyline, especially when segments are edited as repeats. Acting laurels are shared here by Gerald McRaney as leader of the pursuing Wells Fargo riders, and Alfonso Arau as boss of the anti-government fighters, each actor managing to utilize fine technique in spite of being given sub-standard dialogue.
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