117 user 47 critic

The Gauntlet (1977)

2:35 | Trailer
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?


Bronk (1975) season one, episode three, "The Gauntlet" had a very similar scheme to the one in this movie, as well as the same title. The episode aired two years before this movie was released. See more »


When the bus approaches Josephson, his car is in the middle of the right lane. When they leave him, the car is almost over the line dividing the lanes. See more »


Ben Shockley: Now I get the big case and I'm picked to go down with it.
Gus Mally: You don't have to. Neither of us does. Nobody is forcing you to go back to Phoenix. Look, we could go to Canada or Mexico. Anywhere!
Ben Shockley: [sarcastically] Sure. And live like kings.
Gus Mally: I've got some money. Look, I've got my checkbook. $5000 back in Vegas.
Ben Shockley: And when that runs out?
Gus Mally: Look, let's then take the money and buy a pickup truck. An old sedan, or something unobtrusive, for God's sake. We'll take the back roads, we'll turn ourselves in to some ...
See more »

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 »


Featured in A Century of Cinema (1994) See more »


Just A Closer Walk with Thee
See more »

User Reviews

'Dirty Harry' meets 'Mad Max' in this ludicrously fun title.
24 July 2015 | by Maladjusted_1See all my reviews

'The Gauntlet' is an action thriller starring Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke. In the film, Eastwood – playing an unpopular 'Dirty Harry' kind of police officer – must escort a prostitute (Locke) to a trial, at which she is to be a witness. However, there are high- ranking officials in the police department who'd rather see Locke not make it to her trial, and so the duo soon become the county's most-wanted, and it transpires that the authorities will do anything to keep the cop and the prostitute out of court. They must tackle a number of increasingly deadly obstacles in their path, with police snipers, vengeful bikers, helicopters and drive-by shootings all serving to impede them. With these developments, it becomes apparent that 'The Gauntlet' isn't a film to be taken seriously; once this is acknowledged, the film is quite good. It isn't as nail-biting as 'Dirty Harry' or as solemn as 'In the Line of Fire', but 'The Gauntlet' still manages to entertain, albeit in a lighter, 'Mad Max' way. (I think that Eastwood attempted this with the film 'Coogan's Bluff', but I'd say that 'The Gauntlet' is the superior title.) The film is supported by some enjoyable and opportunistic cinematography, a lovable jazz score, and two surprisingly good performances. 'The Gauntlet' isn't really a title to be remembered, debated or written about, and if you approach it in consideration of what it is – a fun, 'Bullitt'-like action film with mature themes – you're likely to enjoy it.

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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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