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Film / Nevada Smith

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Nevada Smith is a 1966 American Western film directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Steve McQueen. The movie was a prequel to the novel The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins, which had been made into a film earlier that featured McQueen's character as an older man, but besides that and Nevada Smith depicting Smith's first meeting with another Carpetbaggers character, Jonas Cord Sr., the two films' stories are otherwise unrelated. The cast is rounded up by Karl Malden, Martin Landau, and Suzanne Pleshette.

In the West of the 1890s, a trio of outlaws robs, tortures and brutally kills the white father and Indian mother of young Max Sand (McQueen). Max later sets out to avenge their deaths, assuming the name "Nevada Smith".


This film features examples of:

  • Get into Jail Free: During his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, Max Sand discovers that Bowdre, one of the three men who murdered his parents, is in prison. Smith commits a robbery and allows himself to get caught. They escape the prison together, whereupon Smith murders Bowdre after revealing his identity.
  • Get It Over With: Fitch ends up pleading to Smith to finish him off, after Smith shoots him several times non-fatally. Smith just rides off, saying he's not worth it.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Smith takes some time to mourn the death of Pilar after she dies from her snakebite wound.
  • Heel Realization: Smith, when he realizes that Father Zaccardi was right and Fitch isn't worth killing.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Max tries to rob a passing traveler using a rusty abandoned revolver. The man turns out to be a gunsmith, and readily identifies several faults with the gun that makes it unlikely to fire, not least being the chambers are empty.
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  • Not Worth Killing: Smith shoots Fitch several times non-fatally until he pleads to Smith to be finished off. Smith just rides off, saying he's not worth it.
  • Prequel: The film is a prequel to The Carpetbaggers, which is odd considering that this film is a western and The Carpetbaggers is a film about the movie industry.
  • You Killed My Father: The eponymous character systematically tries to find and kill the men who murdered his parents.


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