A Classic Western !!
The first in a collaboration between screenwriter Burt Kennedy, director Budd Boetticher and actor Randolph Scott. Subsequently this team made a string of highly acclaimed "B" movie westerns during the 50s.
The screenplay has many surprising turns disclosing many different layers of story and relationships.
The story / plot is fairly straight forward but the strength of the film is how it is told that marks it as one of the best westerns of the 50's.
Listen to the dialogue - what is said, what is not said - to understand the motives of all players involved. Lee Marvin is outstanding as the main villain while Scott is a weathered, reserved and weary man looking for revenge.
Recommended viewing for anyone interested in the evolution of the western. This and the other collaborations between Scott, Kennedy and Boetticher were forerunners to the Sergio Leone westerns and the revisionist cycle in the 60's.