After attending Philadelphia’s Temple University, Richard Brooks (1912-1992) labored away as a sports reporter for the Atlantic City Press Union, the Philadelphia Record and the New York World-Telegram. Brooks joined New York radio station WNEW as a staff writer in the late 1930s, then moved on to the NBC network writing pool. After a season as director of New York’s Mill Pond Theatre, Brooks headed to Los Angeles, where he did some more radio writing and broke into films as a scripter of “B” pictures, Maria Montez epics and serials. Following two years’ wartime service with the Marines, Brooks published his first novel, an anti-intolerance effort titled The Brick Foxhole. Brooks was contractually unable to work on the screenplay adaptation of Brick Foxhole (released in 1947 as Crossfire), but found time to pen a brace of additional novels; he also co-wrote Brute Force (1947) and Key Largo (1948). In 1950, Brooks made his directorial debut with MGM’s Crisis, an offbeat political melodrama… read more
Claudia Cardinale should have been in a movie at some point called "Claudia Cardinale Doing Stuff is Hot" because it is. Also Burt Lancaster didn't play enough baseball, but was still good.
I like to think this is another side of the "Men-on-a-mission Westerns", alongside others like The Magnificent Seven and The Wild Bunch, but I feel like this one was weaker than the others. Putting Lancaster, Marvin, Ryan, and Strode all up against a Mexican Palance sounds like great fun, I was a little disappointed in the execution. Still, a very enjoyable picture.