When itinerant cowboy and drifter Jack Burns reads that his old friend Paul Bondi has been sentenced to two years for aiding and abetting illegal immigrants, he returns to Duke City, New Mexico to Bondi’s home. After a reunion with Bondi’s wife Jerry, with whom he has a very close relationship, the nonconformist Burns sets out to join his old friend in the county jail on a drunk and disorderly charge. Burns gets into a brawl in a local cantina, but when the police decide to release him because of jail overcrowding, he assaults a policeman. Now facing a seemingly unendurable one year term. Burns is disappointed to find that his friend does not want to escape but do his time and return to his family. Using two hacksaws smuggled in his boot, Burns breaks out of jail and heads for the Mexican border. Now facing a five year term for his escape, a sentence he could not endure because of his fiercely independent nature, he and his faithful horse Whisky race up a mountaintop to freedom with the authorities in pursuit. —IMDB
Kirk does a wonderful job carrying the cowboy into the mechanized world -a world more brutal than the frontier. The story is a bit weak but the characters are great. The themes are what make this worth watching. This film had obvious influence on RAMBO and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. "Our cowboy just shot down the air-force."
I love the soul of this movie. As a teen I loved Kirk's independence and have always been a big fan as an adult I am awed by the courage of his character to cling to his way of life and his ideals.
Reflective and often sombre film from the pen of Dalton Trumbo. A clever examination of the modern world overcoming and defeating the traditional independant man. Kirk Douglas well cast here. Good story and often clever dialogue. Not a particularly well known film and such a pleasant surprise to view.