An incredibly overwrought Freudian Western, with Fonda as the notorious killer hired by the cowardly citizens of Warlock to defend them from a vicious gang. Fonda brings with him his lifelong partner (and possible lover), the blond, neurotic, club-footed Anthony Quinn. After a few rousing shoot-outs, one of the opposition (Widmark) joins them, and he is appointed sheriff. Enter Dorothy Malone, whose fiancé has been murdered by Quinn, and she falls in love with Widmark, whom she hopes will avenge her. It all ends with a Viking-style funeral, and with Fonda starting to think beyond his guns. Dmytryk (after the blacklist days, at least) was usually one of Hollywood's dullest directors, but not here. The movie is overlong yet dynamic, juxtaposing moments of repose, when the script shuffles relationships like a stacked deck, and bursts of action which have something of the operatic stylisation of Sergio Leone.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Robert Alan Aurthur|