Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the ... See full summary »
When they were kids Texas Ranger Jack Benteen used to be best friends with drug kingpin Cash Bailey. At present, however, the only element linking them together is Jack's girlfriend Sarita, who used to be with Cash. She returns to Cash as a voluntary hostage to make certain that Jack keeps his hands off the drug lord's operation. On top of that, there is a meticulously planned drug bust, in which both Jack and Cash butt heads with CIA-funded paramilitary Maj. Paul Hackett, following his own agenda.Written by
The film was first announced for production in 1976 with John Milius to direct from his own script. "It's very complicated," said Milius. "I've never been able to put what the movie's about in a few words. All I can say is it's a modern-day story about subversion and espionage." It was to be made in October 1976 in Texas, but Milius instead decided to make Big Wednesday (1978). The project was revived in the 1980s, when Walter Hill hired Harry Kleiner to rewrite it. Hill had known Kleiner from Bullitt (1968), on which Hill was an assistant director and Kleiner the writer; Hill was impressed by Kleiner's talent for writing and rewriting on the set daily, which he needed for this film. See more »
During the car chase scene which follows the failed bank robbery, there is a brief glimpse of a "flipped" shot, in which it appears as though Sgt. Coker is driving the getaway car from the right hand side, while the left front seat (the driver's seat in left-hand drive cars, naturally) is empty. See more »
Sgt. Larry McRose:
Very unusual... ordering the termination of an American civilian peace officer clearly loyal to the country and in the process of bringing a known criminal to justice.
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All UK cinema and video versions were cut by 19 secs by the BBFC to remove a shot of a rat impaled with a knife. The cuts were restored in the 2003 Momentum DVD release. See more »
Jack Benteen is a hard-edged Texas ranger, Cash is his boyhood friend who now lives across the border and works as a major drug smuggler bringing crime into Texas. The conflict between the two men is complicated further when a group of soldiers registered as killed in action arrive in the area and begin to involve themselves in the existing drug war.
This is a good Walter Hill film that has plenty of good old fashioned western style action. The plot seems a little strange for most of the film because you're not quite sure where it's going. At the start you assume that the main focus of the film will be the relationship between Power Booth's Cash and Nolte's Benteen, but after 15 minutes the focus shifts onto the arrival of the army unit and stays split between them and Nolte. Because you're not sure what the unit is doing in this situation it keeps your interest throughout. However this means that Boothe is sidelined for most of the film which is a shame.
Both Boothe and Nolte are good, with Nolte doing his usual tough guy stuff. However the real pleasure comes from the depth of famous faces in the supporting cast. Maria Conchita Alonso is in a thankless role as the girlfriend torn between Cash and Benteen, Rip Torn is the local sheriff while the army unit includes many now well-known faces of Michael Ironside, Clancy Brown, William Forsythe and a small role for the always recognisable Tom "Tiny" Lister Jr.
The action is good throughout despite being a little flat and without any great style. The "wild bunch" style ending is exciting if a little unlikely and is typical of Walter Hill.
Overall a good modern day western with a strong cast, good plot and good action. It's nothing out of the ordinary but it's still entertaining decades after it was made.
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