A gunhand named Lane is hired by a widow, Mrs. Lowe, to find gold stolen by her husband so that she may return it and start fresh.


Burt Kennedy


Burt Kennedy





Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Lane
Ann-Margret ... Mrs. Lowe
Rod Taylor ... Grady
Ben Johnson ... Jesse
Christopher George ... Calhoun
Bobby Vinton ... Ben Young
Jerry Gatlin Jerry Gatlin ... Sam Turner
Ricardo Montalban ... The Pinkerton Man


The lure of gold brings a number of people to the railroad watering-stop of Liberty, Texas. First to arrive is a trio of aging Union army veterans: Lane (John Wayne), Jesse (Ben Johnson) and Grady (Rod Taylor.) Together, with drifters Ben (Bobby Vinton), Sal (Jerry Gatlin) and Calhoun (Christopher George), they plan to accompany Mrs. Lowe (Ann-Marget), a train robber's widow, to the site where her husband had hidden a gold shipment. Lane observes that his band of adventurers will be hotly pursued by the deceased robber's gang members along with "every two-bit gunman in the territory." As the company crosses the Texas border and Rio Grande River in Mexico, just ahead of of a band of pursuers, a lone, well-dressed, cigar-smoking stranger keeps a careful eye on both groups. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cursed gold, a vanished train and a thief's widow. He'd do better walking into hell! See more »


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Did You Know?


Rod Taylor said that John Wayne was ill during filming, and had to lay down for a few hours each afternoon. He also said that Wayne was "slightly infirm" and had trouble with his balance on a couple of occasions. See more »


Opening scene: Mrs. Lowe and Lane walk towards Grady & Calhoun, Mrs. Lowe and Lane cast shadows towards the rail track (left to right across the screen). Then the sky is overcast and the earth behind them is in shadow. It was in full Sunshine before. See more »


The Pinkerton Man: Her name is Lilly, with two "L's." Matt Lowe was never married. Better luck next time!
Jesse: Lilly.
Grady: With two "L's."
Jesse: One of 'em must stand for "liar."
See more »


References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

User Reviews

The end of American westerns
2 October 2004 | by ChungMoSee all my reviews

The film western had already been beaten dead for US audiences by the endless stream of television westerns. The vicious surrealism of the spaghetti western had essentially overwhelmed the clichés of Hollywood. What's a film maker to do? Clint Eastwood successfully made post-westerns by following the cynical, mysterious world-weary character he originated in the Leone films. What did everyone else do? Here's an example.

The film starts with a modest imitation of the masterful opening sequence of Leone's "Once upon a Time in the West" while some characters wait for Wayne to arrive on a train. When Wayne finally appears the film switches back into Hollywood style. The dialog is largely by the book and the characters are about as interesting as any you would find in an average TV western. The photography is very good but it can't make up for the fact that at least 20 minutes of the film are long boring scenes of John Wayne and his pals riding around on horses against spectacular vistas. Sometimes they are being followed by a mysterious group of hooligans who pass the same vistas, same camera shot!

The first 20 minutes of the film has no music but when Mr. Frontiere's orchestra kicks in (during those boring horse riding sequences), we are treated to bombastic western cliché music. Frontiere did some really good soundtracks elsewhere but this pales against much of Ennio Morricone's spaghetti western soundtracks.

To the film's credit there are some good sequences and dialog. The scene with a crashed train that's half buried in the desert is neat. And the last scene in the film is funny, almost makes up for the rest of the film. This could have been good but it would have had to be done in the 1950's when the western wasn't so pickled.

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Release Date:

7 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Train Robbers See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Batjac Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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