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.
In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
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
The film was made and released five years after its source novel "Gun Down" by Brian Garfield had been first published in 1971. See more »
Air raid siren can be heard several times in background during Burgand and Nye's initial conversation in sheriff's office. See more »
Pima County Sheriff Noel Nye:
This came in about six o'clock. Twenty two escaped. They've captured or killed fifteen so that leaves seven.
Hmm. Gant. Weed: he could track a duck across a pond. Shiraz: a knife. Lee Roy Tucker: that coyote sniffed under every boulder in the territory. Mike Shelby: nineteen years old, in for life. Menendez: that must be Cesar Menendez. Real handsome lookin' man - cut the head off a little gal in Nogales one time. Said he wanted her earrings.
Pima County Sheriff Noel Nye:
And Zach Provo.
I though he was dead.
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I'm going to have to disagree with the previous comment and side with Maltin on this one. This is a second rate, excessively vicious Western that creaks and groans trying to put across its central theme of the Wild West being tamed and kicked aside by the steady march of time. It would like to be in the tradition of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", but lacks that film's poignancy and charm. Andrew McLaglen's direction is limp, and the final 30 minutes or so are a real botch, with some incomprehensible strategy on the part of heroes Charlton Heston and Chris Mitchum. (Someone give me a holler if you can explain to me why they set that hillside on fire.) There was something callous about the whole treatment of the rape scene, and the woman's reaction afterwards certainly did not ring true. Coburn is plenty nasty as the half breed escaped convict out for revenge, but all of his fellow escapees are underdeveloped (they're like bowling pins to be knocked down one by one as the story lurches forward). Michael Parks gives one of his typically shifty, lethargic, mumbling performances, but in this case it was appropriate as his modern style sheriff symbolizes the complacency that technological progress can bring about.
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