A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.


Clint Eastwood
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Ben Shockley
Sondra Locke ... Gus Mally
Pat Hingle ... Josephson
William Prince ... Blakelock
Bill McKinney ... Constable
Michael Cavanaugh ... Feyderspiel
Carole Cook ... Waitress
Mara Corday ... Jail Matron
Doug McGrath ... Bookie (as Douglas McGrath)
Jeff Morris Jeff Morris ... Desk Sergeant
Samantha Doane Samantha Doane ... Biker
Roy Jenson ... Biker
Dan Vadis ... Biker
Carver Barnes Carver Barnes ... Bus Driver
Robert Barrett Robert Barrett ... Paramedic


In Phoenix, Arizona, alcoholic and mediocre Detective Ben Shockley (Clint Eastwood) is assigned by Chief Commissary Blakelock (William Prince) to bring witness Gus Mally (Sondra Locke) from Las Vegas, Nevada for a minor trial. Shockley travels to Las Vegas and finds that Gus Mally is an aggressive and intelligent prostitute with a college degree and she tells him that the odds are against her showing up in court. Shockley learns that she will actually testify against a powerful mobster, and the mafia is chasing them, trying to kill them both. He calls Blakelock and requests a Police escort from Phoenix to protect them. But soon, he discovers that someone is betraying him in the Police Department. Now, Shockley and Malley hijack a bus and Shockley welds thick steel plates and transforms the cabin in an armored bus trying to reach the Forum. But they will need to drive through a gauntlet of Police Officers armed with heavy weapons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Clint Eastwood is the man in the middle of The Gauntlet


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


According to the book "Clint Eastwood: Hollywood's Loner" (1992) by Michael Munn, the desert hideaway house that got shot up cost $250,000 to construct, and featured 7,000 drilled holes that were used to house explosive squibs which would be set off to simulate gunfire. A team of fifteen men worked eight hour days for a month rigging the dwelling with the squibs for a shoot-out sequence that would result in the demolition and collapses of the building. Special effects coordinator Chuck Gaspar said, "Needless to say, we only had once chance to film the take." And Clint Eastwood said of the sequence that he wanted "not just an ordinary explosion. I wanted the house to collapse to the ground as though it was being eaten away by a gigantic mass of termites." See more »


Even though the route Shockley and Gus was supposedly cleared of all traffic and pedestrians, people can be seen in parking lots along the route and vehicles can be seen crossing intersections just behind them. See more »


Ben Shockley: [to the prone female inmate feigning sleep] Hit the deck, Mally.
[to the warden]
Ben Shockley: Did she have anything to eat?
Jail Matron: Just a cup of coffee this morning.
Ben Shockley: [inspecting the empty mug] Yeah. Looks like she smoked a few cigarettes and put the ashes in the coffee.
[the girl lifts up her head to look at him]
Ben Shockley: Old army trick. She wanted to look sick.
Gus Mally: [jumps up from the bunk, tries darting away, is caught] Let me go! They're gonna kill me! I want a fucking lawyer!
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Crazy Credits

A disclaimer at the end reads: "Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily represent those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein." See more »

Alternate Versions

Back in 1978 Norwegian cinema version was cut to get an 16 rating, later video rental version and DVD version are uncut. See more »


Referenced in Logan (2017) See more »


Just A Closer Walk with Thee
See more »

User Reviews

Over the top and silly, but still undeniably solid action fun. I keep rewatching this flick year after year...
26 April 2020 | by imseegSee all my reviews

The Clint Eastwood fans already know what fun action they can expect, for those people yet unknown with Clint Eastwood, one can expect shoot-out after shoot-out. The story is about a corrupt police chief trying to kill a witness before she can testify to his corruption.

The good: terrific action, however silly and over the top, it is still incredibly enjoyable. Great role by a lovely Sandra Locke, who provides a bit of budding romance. And there is an excellent bad guy as well. What more could I wish for in a dirty cop action movie?

Any bad? Well, the story is completely NOT credible up to RIDICULOUS, because at many moments it makes no sense whatsoever. For those who want a realistic story, pass this one by. For those (like me) who first most want to see full blown fun action, this is definitely worth the watch...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

21 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gauntlet See more »

Filming Locations:

Florence, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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