28 June 2011 | matchettja
Standard Western fare
This is pretty much standard Western fare with a cattle drive, gold prospecting, town taming and gun play. Sam Elliot, Tom Selleck and Jeff Osterhage play the three Sackett brothers. The oldest one, Tell (Elliot) is the one looking for gold. In the meantime, the other two leave their home in Tennessee and head west, hooking up with a cattle drive. When the cattle are delivered, they head to racially divided Santa Fe to help a beautiful Mexican senorita whose family is threatened by a dishonest businessman.
Much of the strength of this story lies in the supporting cast, including Western veterans Glenn Ford, Ben Johnson, Jack Elam, Slim Pickens and Gene Evans. Ford is Tom Sunday, ramrod of the cattle drive. He and the two younger Sacketts go into business together rounding up stray cattle before taking them to Santa Fe. Then Sunday's relationship with the Sackett boys begins to spiral downward, and when Orrin (Selleck) gets the sheriff job Sunday has his heart set on, a grudge develops that will not abate. Ben Johnson is a hoot as Cap Roundtree. He was going to join in the stray cattle venture, but when he meets up with Tell, his eyes light up with gold fever and off they go to the mountains. Elam, Pickens and Evans are the Bigelows. They aim to get revenge against Tell for the slaying of their brother and this leads to the final confrontation. Elam, with his long handlebar mustache and black garb, including gloves, looks especially menacing.
The Sacketts is not the best Western to come along, but it is always a pleasure to watch those guys who appeared in so many of the bygone classics and have since passed on.