Things go amiss for two hardluck outlaws, the Scottish gun weary Deans (Gregory Peck) and the much younger half-breed Billy Two Hats (Desi Arnaz, Jr.), when they accidently kill a bank clerk during a bank robbery and their third partner gets killed. Hard-nosed Sheriff Henry Gifford (Jack Warden) captures Billy; but at a remote trading post run by an ex-buffalo hunter named Copeland (David Huddleston) and his squaw (Dawn Little Sky), Deans returns to free Billy and wings the sheriff in the shoulder. While the criminals are fleeing, Copeland wings Deans in the leg with his buffalo hunting rifle and with Deans unable to ride a horse Billy builds an Indian cot to drag Deans behind his horse. With the enraged sheriff in hot pursuit, the pair of wanted men stop off at a remote ranch, near the Mexican border, run by a mean-spirited man named Spencer (John Pearce) and his frightened bought wife from St. Louis named Esther (Sian Barbara Allen). When Deans goes for a doctor to the nearest town, two days away, with Spencer, they’re attacked by four crazed Indians. Meanwhile Billy is left to safeguard Esther and watch for the sheriff, but he’s seduced by her and then overtaken by the bigoted sheriff. —Ozu’s World Movie Reviews
Born in Toronto, Canada, Ted Kotcheff graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time becoming the youngest director in the CBC. After two years there he went to live and work in England, directing in television and the theatre.
He twice won the British Emmy for Best Director, the second time for an extraordinary docudrama about a female derelict entitled, “Edna, the Inebriate Woman” episode of “Play for Today” (1970). The film also won the Best Actress and Best Script Award. Kotcheff’s television work in Great Britain was part of the new wave of working-class actors and drama that changed British theatre and television in the late 1950s. His stage successes include the long-running Lionel Bart musical, “Maggie May.” His film career started in England: Tiara Tahiti (1962), a social comedy starring James Mason and John Mills; Life at… read more