Two former lawmen (Randolph Scott's ultimate sunset ride and the penultimate for Joel McCrea) are escorting a shipment of gold through the Sierra Nevada; betrayal is just around the corner.A Western created when the Hollywood studio system was in decline. Box-office glory didn't happen for this film on its initial 1962 appearance, but modern cinephiles recognize it as an early triumph in the career of Sam Peckinpah, with some even ranking it higher than The Wild Bunch.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Elsa Knudson wants nothing more than to leave her overbearing father and marry Billy Hammond. Turns out he's a brute from a family of brutes.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Face Heel Revolving Door: Westrum.
- The Hero Dies
- My Beloved Smother: Elsa's father is a male version of this.
- Opposed Mentors: Steve Judd and Gil Westrum are this to young Heck Longtree, and war with each other for his loyalty.
- Twilight of the Old West