Admirably scripted by Burt Kennedy from a story by Elmore Leonard, this is the best and bleakest of the Boetticher/Scott Westerns. A marvellous mechanism is set in motion by the stagecoach hold-up at the beginning where a solid citizen cravenly bargains for his life by suggesting that his wife be held for ransom. Boone's bluffly amiable villain promptly guns him down in contempt, but fulfils his elective role by taking up the suggestion. Thereafter, conceptions of justice and social justification are slyly questioned as Boone is hounded by Scott, bodies pile up, and the two men, gradually emerging as opposite sides of the same coin, face the inevitable showdown that neither of them wants but which society demands. Wonderful, with a full roster of fine performances.