5 November 2011 | kjeroh-1
One of Three Grimes True West Depictions
The Spikes Gang is a very good western that shows what probably happened to a good many youngsters who struck out on their own in the expanding west. It is one of three westerns that Gary Grimes starred in that gave a darker and truer view of life in the old west for teenager. The others are The Culpepper Cattle Co., 1972 and Cahill, U.S. Marshall, 1973.
Lee Marvin plays a wounded bank robber, (Spikes) on the run from a posse, whom three teens find (Grimes, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith) and nurse back to health. The three youths, small community and under the heavy hand of discipline, become enthralled with Spikes and soon strike out on their own soon after he departs.
After a series of misadventures, the youngsters meet up with Spikes again, who, against his better judgment, takes them under his wing.
The Spikes Gang is a fast paced movie and seems to play upon the anonymity of three teenagers, ill-prepared for a brutal and unforgiving way of life. The one drawback to the pace is that it does not give a good sense for the passage of time, but is effective in emphasizing the few sparks in mundane lives.
As part of the Grimes Western trilogy, one can get a good look at an overly romanticized part of history.