At the turn of the last century, in the autumn of the year, an aging
ex-marshal (Joel McCrea) hopes to make enough money to retire on by taking a job transporting
a gold shipment down from the high Sierras. But everything goes awry after he hires a less
principled former sidekick (Randolph Scott) to help him.
This was Peckinpah's first major film after nearly a decade doing television
dramas (most notably Gunsmoke), and it is a transitional work in many respects. Some of the
dialogue and scene-blocking is in the style of an earlier era, and seems badly dated now. But
much else about the film was forward-looking and remains fresh today. And Peckinpah's
decision to give the leading roles to two old cowboy-movie stars who were themselves in
fact over the hill gives the film an ironic richness.
Not rated. Some scenes of violence, relatively tame by today's
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