Jilted Chicago hotel clerk Frank Harris (Jack Lemmon) is a young adventurer and would-be cowboy. After befriending cattleman Tom Reece (Glenn Ford), Harris holds the man to his promise of taking him along as a partner on a cattle drive to Mexico and back. On the rugged trail Harris soon learns that only cattle count and men can die along the way with little care or concern on the part of anyone. Reece, in his turn, also learns an important lesson – that no man can live alone.
This is brought home to him by Doc Bender (Brian Donlevy), a famous gunfighter who is taken on for the drive and who hangs himself after killing his only friend, in self-defence. Reece saves Harris’s life after the tenderfoot jumps into a cattle-jammed box car and the two men suddenly understand each other. And although Harris has lost the beautiful Maria (Anna Kashfi), the daughter of a Mexican cattle baron, he and Reece roar back to Chicago eager for their coming spree.
Delmer Daves’s film can be seen as an early version of City Slickers, with Lemmon perfectly cast as the ingénue who thinks that life on the trail will be a bed of roses. The film’s editors Al Clarke and William A Lyon were nominated for an Oscar.
Cast: Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi, Brian Donlevy, Dick York, Víctor Manuel Mendoza, Richard Jaeckel, King Donovan, Vaughn Taylor, Donald Randolph, James Westerfield, Eugene Iglesias, Frank De Kova, Strother Martin, Leoda Richards
Director: Delmer Daves
Writers: Edmund H North, Dalton Trumbo, from the book by Frank Harris
Producer: Julian Blaustein
Composer: George Duning
Director of Photography: Charles Lawton Jr.
Production Companies: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Release Date: 19 February 1958
Running Time: 92 minutes
Genres: Action, Western
Country: United States of America
Tagline: The Real, True Story Of The West!