This borrows a star (Whitman), a screenwriter (Clair Huffaker) and the plot of another Fox Western, The Comancheros (1961). A stolen shipment of repeater rifles forces an unlikely - and severely tested - alliance between a Yankee Captain (Whitman), his black sergeant (Brown), an Indian-hating Rebel (Boone), and a Mexican killer (Franciosa). Their common foe: a megalomaniac Southern Colonel (O'Brien) who plans to revive the Civil War and strike back at the Union by arming the Apaches. While it shares the earlier film's taste for the picaresque, this version is in far darker register: Gordon Douglas directs with a blistering vehemence Michael Curtiz never dreamed of. It begins with the massacre of an Indian burial party, and ends with an extraordinarily baroque conflagration: a voyage from dust to ashes only one of the men will survive.