An accidental nerve gas leak by the military kills not only a rancher's livestock, but also his son. When he tries to hold the military accountable for their actions, he runs up against a wall of silence.
In Wyoming, sheep rancher Dan Logan and his teenage son Chris camp out on their land. Their sheep are grazing about while the sheep dog is guarding them. An Army helicopter is seen buzzing around but shortly disappears. Dan sleeps in his tent while Chris sleeps under the stars. In the morning, Dan finds Chris convulsing, unresponsive and bleeding from the nose while his sheep are dead. Dan races to the hospital where the doctors isolate his son and test Dan for signs of illness. A young Army doctor, Major Holliford, working at the hospital as a specialist in biochemical sciences, asks Dan about Chris's symptoms. He suggests that it could be insecticide poisoning. Dan remains in the hospital as a preliminary precaution but the hospital refuses to release him or to allow him to see his son. After a week of lies and delaying tactics from the part of the hospital staff, Dan escapes and finds his son's dead body at the morgue. He vows to find out the truth and punish those responsible.Written by
Although most of the officers are wearing the Vietnam Campaign and Vietnam Service ribbons, none of them wears a patch on their right shoulder depicting the unit they served with in Vietnam. The wearing of such "combat patches" is customary in the U.S. Army. See more »
George C. Scott both stars in and directs this melodrama, as he plays a rancher who, while out camping with his son, discovers that they were accidentally sprayed with an experimental gas, that has killed his son and livestock, and sends him to the hospital, where he learns that the military was behind it, and after being frustrated by their stonewalling, decides to take matters in his own hands, even though he has not escaped the effects of the poisoning...
Though Scott gives a first-rate performance, and is ably supported by costars Richard Basehart, Martin Sheen & Barnard Hughes, this film ultimately fails because the father goes so far off the deep end with his revenge, killing the innocent, that he loses any sympathy, and the film ends inconclusively, and unsatisfactorily. A failure at the time, though can be seen on DVD from Warner Archive, for curiosity's sake.
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