Exhilarating revenge Western starring Steve McQueen as a half white/half Indian innocent who becomes a steely killer when outlaws (Martin Landau, Karl Malden and Arthur Kennedy) slaughter his parents. Rich cinematography and the typically assured staging of director Henry Hathaway (The Sons Of Katie Elder; True Grit) make it a rewarding ride.
An epic western that stems from the character created by Harold Robbins in The Carpetbaggers. John Michael Hayes wrote both films and this is how you would imagine he would tackle a western - lengthy, packed with characters, blood, action and veiled moralising, with a dash of sex thrown in. Stir well and hope it turns out tasty.
And, in fits and starts, it does: the odds are that you'll enjoy watching Steve McQueen as a country boy on a long, long hunt for the trio of vicious killers who tortured and killed his parents.
Star actors fill all the many main parts, although only Arthur Kennedy's convict on the run sticks for any length of time in the memory. Familiar faces in the supporting cast include those of Lyle Bettger and Howard Da Silva, and the hunt is photographed in splendidly detailed colour by Lucien Ballard, who proves just as adept at following a nighttime knife-fight as portraying a lone rider in panoramic daytime view.