In 1909 Arizona, retired lawman Sam Burgade's life is thrown upside-down when his old enemy Zach Provo and six other convicts escape a chain-gang in the Yuma Territorial Prison and come gunning for Burgade.
A pair of grizzled frontiersmen fight Indians, guzzle liquor and steal squaws in their search for a legendary valley 'so full of beaver that they jump right into your traps' in this fanciful adventure.
After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
In the early 20th century, some convicts while on a road gang escape and one of the convicts is Zach Provo, a half Indian, who was sent to prison during the latter part of the 19th century. He escapes with 6 others to exact vengeance on Sam Burgade the lawman who not only captured him but was also responsible for the death of Provo's wife, at least in Provo's mind. Part of his plan is to kidnap Burgade's daughter, which prompts him to strap on his guns and go after him on horseback. Can Burgade who has been retired for sometime still have what it takes to track Provo down?Written by
A nice departure from the mainstream, "good guys wear white hats", product typical of the genre. First released in the 1970's, the movie followed in the experimental trend of the day begun with the "Spaghetti Westerns" starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, etc.
Both the protagonist and antagonist are throwbacks to an earlier time. Charlton Heston is somewhat dismayed and bewildered by the technological changes thrust upon him while James Coburn's character simply disregards them. The two men become locked in an ego battle that disregards all those around them except to the extent others are useful in pursuing their own personal goals. Both characters are incredible "hard men", physically, mentally, and emotionally and this aspect of their personalities plays out in single-minded, intense violence and cruelty.
The plot is nothing new, however. Coburn plays an escaped convict bent on avenging himself against Heston, the lawman who captured him. Coburn manipulates a gang of mostly dimwitted but dangerous criminals who kidnap Heston's daughter. Heston then chases them across hill and dale in an attempt to save her.
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