A gun-fighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.


Clint Eastwood


Ernest Tidyman
2,854 ( 1,466)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... The Stranger
Verna Bloom ... Sarah Belding
Marianna Hill ... Callie Travers (as Mariana Hill)
Mitchell Ryan ... Dave Drake
Jack Ging ... Morgan Allen
Stefan Gierasch ... Mayor Jason Hobart
Ted Hartley ... Lewis Belding
Billy Curtis ... Mordecai
Geoffrey Lewis ... Stacey Bridges
Scott Walker ... Bill Borders
Walter Barnes ... Sheriff Sam Shaw
Paul Brinegar ... Lutie Naylor
Richard Bull ... Asa Goodwin
Robert Donner ... Preacher
John Hillerman ... Bootmaker


A Stranger (Clint Eastwood) rides into in the dusty mining town of Lago, where the townspeople are living in the shadow of a dark secret. After a shoot-out leaves the town's hired-gun protectors dead, the town's leaders petition the Stranger to stay and protect them from three ruthless outlaws who are soon to be released from prison. The three have their sights set on returning to Lago to wreak havoc and take care of some unfinished business. A series of events soon has the townspeople questioning whether siding with the Stranger was a wise idea, as they quickly learn the price that they each must pay for his services. As the outlaws make their way back into Lago, they discover that the town is not exactly as they had left it, and waiting in the shadows is the Stranger, ready to expose the town's secret and serve up his own brand of justice. Written by bob-oconnor1964

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Aim to see it! See more »


Drama | Mystery | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The Isaiah 53.3-4 quote is obviously someone with a sense of humour. Isaiah 53.5 " are saved by his stripes" alludes to the whipping of Christ and of the Marshal. See more »


When the next to last bad guy is hanged with a bull whip, as he is first hoisted he spins a little and you can clearly see that is is a rope around his neck (not a bull whip), and that it is tied in a knot with some other ropes going down the back of his shirt (obviously attached to a supporting harness). See more »


[first lines]
The Stranger: Beer... and a bottle.
Lutie Naylor: Ain't much good, but it's all there is.
[brings drinks]
Lutie Naylor: You want anything else?
The Stranger: Just a peaceful hour to drink it in.
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Crazy Credits

The closing shot of The Stranger disappearing into the heatwaves plays out over the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure an 'X' rating. All cuts were waived in 1987 when the film was granted an '18' certificate for home video. See more »


Referenced in Pale Rider (1985) See more »

User Reviews

Revenge of a stranger without a name
30 April 2019 | by mrdestroyer2001See all my reviews

The classic picture, shot by Clint Eastwood, who himself played the main role of a stranger without a name. For me, this picture is certainly not the pinnacle of creativity, directorial and acting, the inimitable K. Eastwood, he just has a lot more work to do. But the film definitely deserves to be seen by many.

At first glance, it seems nothing new as regards westerns, having taken it in view, the viewer will not see. But it will be so only when viewing the first half of the picture. In the future, all the actions taking place in the film will acquire a raid of mysticism, which will intensify from one action to another and acquiring clear outlines of the supernatural with the development of the storyline. The fact that a stranger appears and disappears in the end of the tape will obviously hint at the mystical interpretation of the picture. And Eastwood himself hinted at the mystical aspect of his work in his interviews. Therefore, this tape will also be interesting to those who love not only the standard work in this genre. It will definitely appeal to lovers of the mysterious and mysterious.

In the picture itself, by and large, there is nothing to complain about. Everything in it is made to last. It could not be otherwise. Just look at the team working on the film. Here there are only one professional and aurochs of their business, who set and put into practice more than one picture of this genre. Separately, I would like to mention two people, I don't take Clint Eastwood a priori into account, because everything is clear with him, he is a pro in his field, especially as regards Westerns. First of all, I note the operator Bruce Surtis, who has done an amazing job. His camera is fascinating, he showed a small town in all its glory, the viewer sees it in full view. At the right moment, he pulls out close-ups, thereby creating a lot of stress. The locations that B.Sertes shows are pleasing to the eye, they are amazing. Here, an important factor plays the role of the place where the place was chosen for filming, the endless plains, the scorching sun, the small town. The viewer will see the wild west in all its glory, against which a bloody spectacle will unfold. And the second is noted by composer Dee Burton, who wrote beautiful and very beautiful music for this film. Of course this is not Ennio Morricone. If you compare with it, many composers immediately fade away, so for me, a comparison here with the greatest meter of their work will not be appropriate. And therefore Dee Barton created classical music for this western. For me, this composer stands on a par with the great L. Bokalov.

Shootings, for which they love this genre, there is not much. But without them, the film has something to see. Perfectly written out all the characters without exception. Whether major or minor. Each will play an important role, regardless of the time interval occupied in the tape. And be sure everyone here will be rewarded according to merit. The picture does not sag, it was interesting to watch the development of events throughout its entire length, the well-written script clearly contributes to that.

The output was a harsh and merciless picture, seasoned with a touch of humor and irony, like many other works of this genre by C. Eastwood. But it may seem ambiguous to many people, so of course, it's your decision to look or not.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

7 April 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

High Plains Drifter See more »


Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

The Malpaso Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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