• Movies are meant to entertain--and, on any level, this one doesn't. The high marks Robert Altman earned (in some quarters) for his 1975 movie, "Nashville," apparently encouraged him to apply the same cut-and-paste technique to this movie, and the result is a disaster. There is no story. The dialogue is bland. The scenes are disjointed. The Indians--who are portrayed as universally noble, a characteristic of the seventies--nevertheless come across as completely one-dimensional. The excellent cast is wasted. Burt Lancaster looks as if he would rather be anywhere but on the set.

    This movie was a precursor of the many failed projects Altman would direct in the next 25 years. He's currently on a roll ("Gosford Park"), but nothing can justify the directorial pretense and excess that permeate this film from start to finish.