Set in 1913, this film follows the final, get-rich-or-die-trying heist of an infamous gang led by aging gunslinger Pike Bishop (Holden). When the robbery goes wrong, Pike and his boys, including Dutch (Borgnine), Angel (Jaime Sanchez), and Lyle (Warren Oates), head for Mexico, hotly pursued by Pike's old comrade, the mercenary Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan).
Maverick director Sam Peckinpah released this blood-soaked western ballet in 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, igniting protests over his graphic depiction of violence. Yet some images, like the opening sequence of children watching a nest of fire ants attack a scorpion, have a cruel poetic force. Boasting a powerhouse veteran cast and virtually non-stop action, this mesmerizing film is not for the squeamish, but fans of pure western action and gunplay should cherish this pounding, hard-edged film.