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And an epic it is- they can't seem to make films like this nowadays: we're all too self aware for that. This is in the grand tradition alongside 'The Valley of Gwangi', the 'Sinbad' films and Jason and the Argonauts (without the monsters though). It's not so much a Western but an Adventure in every meaning of the word.
It's loud, fast paced with a perilous moment almost around every turn.
As a result there are some great actors in cameo parts popping off every few minutes after looking like they're up for a major role.
This is OK though as the film has a conspicuous number of bad guys in it and even the 'hero' has a shady past...........
There's a great degree of pedigree attached to this film- not just actors, but the director (J. Lee Thompson), producer and writer (Carl Foreman) all have great things attached to their names. I particularly liked Ted Cassidy though who delivers a silent 'towering' performance and who only speaks right at the death.
It's a little dated in places- the effects haven't computers to aid them but that doesn't matter: great story, great acting, great pace and above all the landscape plays it's part too. Stunning.
And the Moral?: that there is greed in everyone's heart and that it never pays.
While the quantity of extras on hand are decidedly lacking this is more than made up for by the quality. The anamorphic widescreen image is simply superb and looks like it could have been shot last week. The soundtrack has also been remixed into 5.1 and, while no match for the likes of The Matrix, is still quite aggressive and very enjoyable especially during the effects-heavy closing scenes. Overall I highly recommend this movie and, despite the lack of extras on the DVD, you won't have seen it looking or sounding better since it's original release in '69. I should stress that this is not a film for kids as it was most definitely made with the grownups in mind. There is quite a bit of violence and sexual content - especially Julie Newmar's infamous bathing scene which exudes more sex appeal than a dozen Basic Instincts.
So there you have it: a great cast, ridiculous but very enjoyable plot and an absolutely cracking closing reel - if ever a film deserved to get a remake it's this one.