This is, indeed, a sad episode -- in the other sense of the word.
Thematically, the story resembles "Of Mice and Men", with a brother having the impossible task of taking care of his younger, "mentally challenged" (not mentally ill) sibling. The complications are interesting, with the older brother wanted for crimes, his ex-partner-in-crime gunning for him, and both brothers interested in the same saloon gal.
Of course, there's no way this situation can possibly have a conventionally "happy" ending, even after the criminal brother wins a gunfight with his partner.
The writer took the easy way out with an act of unintentional -- and implausible -- violence. It was too much trouble to do the hard work of writing a believable, character-based conclusion. It would still have been a tragedy -- but it wouldn't have looked so arbitrary -- or silly. (The ending is telegraphed by the director showing a close-up of a raven.)
Tom Skerritt gives a fine performance as the "challenged" brother, but his features have changed so much he's unrecognizable. (I agree with the IMDb writer who says Skerritt has aged very well.)
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