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Michael Winner directs veterans Robert Ryan, Burt Lancaster and Lee J. Cobb in this western set in Mexico. Marshal Jered Maddox (Lancaster) is a ruthless and dedicated lawman. When a bunch of cowboys on a drunken spree accidentally kill an old man, Maddox pursues them to the town of Sabbath, where the group's leader (Lee J. Cobb) appeals to the local Marshal (Robert Ryan) for arbitration.
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Bronson's (Cobb)cowboy outfit accidentally kills an innocent bystander in Maddox's (Lancaster) town during a drunken night of fooling around at the end of a cattle drive. His men then leave not realising that their gun play has caused a death. Maddox was out of town at the time, and when he returns he heads out to arrest the men to stand trial.
Hearing of Maddox's arrival and of the accident, Bronson is remorseful and offers to pay anything to put it right. Maddox, though, is a honourable law man and refuses, saying he's only interested in arresting the men responsible. When Cobb's right hand man is killed by Maddox when he's called out, he vows revenge.
Like a machine, Maddox continues to stick to his plan and the tension builds. However, I felt let down by the ending, or the near ending. I can't really go into detail because it will spoil the movie for the viewer, but I found it hard to believe. It seemed a bit rushed to come up with that scenario.
Picture quality suffers at times, but overall is good. I would have given it 3.5 stars, but Amazon won't allow me to do that. So I've given it 3 because 4 suggests a near masterpiece, which it isn't, although it is very good and if you enjoy westerns you'll find much to like in this film. There won't be too many surprises, but the traditional elements work and it's all carried off very well by a fine cast and, surprisingly, good, taut directing.
Chris Allen is a Technical Author and a crime writer specializing in unusual and well researched fiction with the following books available through Amazon:
His latest novel: Reality Shaper: The Quantum Detective
The Beam of Interest: Taken by Storm
Hypnotic Tales 2013: Some Light Some Dark
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Great story, great leading man, great support cast all brought together by a great director - you cannot go wrong!
This has got to be one of burt Lancaster best film .
Great film and the acting is excellent from all the actors and actresses.
If you like cowboys films then watch this one you wont be disappointed.
This film is well directed and a great script to make this film a classic.