When the western hero becomes an existential archetype and the genre enters a new phase. This is the last in a series of Boetticher-Scott collaborations that serve as a major reference-point for this transition. Some are tempted to see in them a recapitulation of the whole genre, ending once again with this version of Ford's The Searchers. That might give them too much credit.
This is like The Searchers in miniature, and that last reaction shot as Cody watches Nancy reunite with her husband is as heartbreaking and haunting as the ending to Ford's film. It's amazing how much depth and feeling Boetticher could pack into these little B Westerns.