Shalee Jethro (Dorothy Malone) helps her father run a desert stagecoach station. Five desperate outlaws arrive at the station to await a gold shipment they plan to rob, and Shalee becomes their hostage bait in several ways, and then the men begin to fight among themselves. four of them attack her but she is saved by Govern Sturges (John Lund), who also turns out to be a Confederate officer planted among the gang.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
This was Roger Corman's first film as director. Working on a strict nine-day schedule, he was so nervous that, while driving to the set and it started raining, he pulled to the side of the road and threw up. See more »
At 45 minutes into the film when the gang rides into the ranch the contrail of a modern jet are visible in the background. See more »
Opening title card:
Desperate for men during the last days of the War Between the States, the South found it necesssary to offer pardons to outlaws to carry out special assignments. Strange dark figures rode under the flag of the Confederacy.
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Not at all bad, though the villains didn't look too villainous
I'm surprised that the rating for FGW is only 4.3, as I thought it compared reasonably well with other Westerns of the period.
The implausibility of five villains being pardoned and then being trusted to fulfil their undertaking to capture the absconding traitor and gold and return both to the Confederacy has already been remarked on. Getting the date wrong (the officer mentioning "1867" when the Civil War is still being fought) was astonishing. And the villains don't look that villainous, despite their crimes.
But the plot canters along well enough, the factional aligning and re- aligning of the five is interesting, and the final shoot-out quite original.
But I do wonder how much better the film would have been with Randolph Scott starring, Budd Boetticher directing and a couple of real heavies (Jack Elam, Skip Homeier, say).
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