year: 1972
cast: Robert Mitchum, Ken Hutchison, Victor Buono, John Colicos, Frank Langella, Rita Hayworth, Paula Pritchett
director: Ralph Nelson
rating: ***

This Sam Peckinpah meets Sergio Leone in this 1920s-era anti-Western with a confident young Irish rogue (STRAW DOGS's Ken Hutchison) smuggling alcohol that turns out to be guns in the badlands of Mexico. He's then forced to join with a boozy priest (Robert Mitchum, old yet still handsome, not having reached his praying mantis stage) and the con-man who set him up (Victor Buono) to kill the dictator of a small town. The mini-adventures leading to the prolonged final act: consisting of car chases, shootouts, and a near-death experience with a firing squad make a solid action/adventure with some humor thrown in (although constant reminders of Mitchum's priest being not-so-holy gets old). When the trio reach their destination, and plot to kill target-at-hand Frank Langella, it's a sluggish trail with way too much dialog. Although things pick up again in a WILD BUNCH style climax via machine-guns and slow-motion deaths. Noteworthy as Rita Hayworth's final performance as Langella's passive mother.

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