Two Army officers, an alcoholic ex-Confederate soldier and a womanizing Mexican travel to Mexico on a secret mission to prevent a megalomaniacal ex-Confederate colonel from selling a cache of stolen rifles to a band of murderous Apaches.Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
The western was still a going commercial concern when Gordon Douglas made this decent example of the genre in 1964. Within a few years, of course, Peckinpah, Leonne and latterly Clint Eastwood amongst others would completely overturn the genre, giving new meaning to the term 'revisionist'. Douglas was no auteur but a good jobbing director, professional enough to tell a good yarn. There is nothing terribly original about this yarn, (it's really a rehash of "The Commancheros"), as potential enemies Richard Boone, Stuart Whitman, Tony Franciosa and Jim Borwn join forces to find a shipment of rifles stolen by the Indians. There is plenty of sage-brush and desert in the action sequences providing the requisite pleasures we associate with a good horse-opera, even if this one turns surprisingly cynical and bitter. There is a scenery-chewing supporting turn from Edmond O'Brien and Tony Franciosa enjoys himself as a Mexican Lothario whose way with a knife comes in very handy. And Jerry Goldsmith's score is first-rate.
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