A striking modern Western, with Douglas' ex-con cowboy pitting his horse and wits against technocrat sheriff Matthau and the world of 'progress', in an attempt to hold on to his dream of freedom and the pioneering spirit. The message of Dalton Trumbo's script (adapted from Edward Abbey's novel Brave Cowboy) is often a little too heavily underlined, with Douglas' martyrdom buttressed by some rather obvious symbols, but Miller directs with an eloquent feeling for landscape, making excellent use of Philip Lathrop's monochrome photography as the cowboy is pursued by helicopters into the mountains. Beautifully acted by a superb cast, it's a gripping, elegiac movie, imbued with a very real nostalgia for a vanished world.
Cast and crew
Michael Kane Gena Rowlands Walter Matthau George Kennedy William Schallert Carroll O'Connor Kirk Douglas