This move was written by and starred Jack Nicholson. Nicholson portrays Wes, a cowhand who is traveling with two of his friends. They spend the night close to a group of bandits. When the local vigilantes come to hang or kill the criminals, (those who surrender are hung) our three friends are caught up in the melee, with the only option of flee or be killed. One of them is killed, and Wes and Vern (Cameron Mitchell) escape over the mountains up a boxed draw. They make it over the top and meet a family, but insist on taking their horses to get away. They are innocent, but being caught up in the situation they become murderers and thieves. The father of the home wants to protect his animals, and shoots Vern, while Wes kills him. This movie ends as Wes is riding away with a last chance of escape given him by Vern who gave himself up creating a diversion.
I think the theme of this movie is sometimes you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The vigilantes were out for hanging and didn't care much who they got.
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