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.
In Phoenix, the alcoholic and mediocre detective Ben Shockley is assigned by the Chief Commissary Blakelock to bring the witness Gus Mally from Las Vegas for a minor trial. Shockley travels to 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 request 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
The cave that Sondra Locke and Clint Eastwood spend overnight in is a real life landmark which is part of a group of scenic rock formations. It is known as "Hole in the Rock" and is situated in Arizona in Papago Park, Phoenix. According to Wikipedia, it "is a series of openings (tafoni) eroded in a small hill composed of bare red arkosic conglomerate sandstone. The sandstone was first formed some 6-15 million years ago, theorized to have been the accumulation of materials sliding off a much higher mountain, which, made of different materials, has long since eroded away, leaving what looks like petrified mud cakes. The tafoni are thought to have been eroded by water". See more »
When Shockley and Gus are fleeing the black car, the second hole appears in the rear window well before a second shot is heard. See more »
Clint Eastwood stars as Ben Shockley, a gruff, tough maverick cop (natch!) who is given the task of extraditing Las Vegas hooker Gus Malley (Sondra Locke) to Phoenix, where she is to testify at a mob trial. Unfortunately for Ben, the mob have connections in the police force, and what seems like a simple job at first turns into a fight for survival against the odds.
It would be easy to fault The Gauntlet for its incredibly dumb premise—the finale, in which Shockley and Malley must run a gauntlet of heavily armed police in order to reach city hall is preposterous in the extreme—but a lack of credibility is actually the least of this film's problems. Clint Eastwood's bland action direction is partly to blame, the star failing to generate any sense of excitement despite numerous situations in which certain death seems like the likely outcome for Shockley and Malley; the film's biggest drawback, however, is Sondra Locke, who couldn't act her way out of a paper bag if her life depended on it, and who doesn't even have the looks necessary to excuse such a lack of talent.
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