I've always listed this film as one of my top ten Westerns. So, the question I keep asking myself today is why don't I own it and why haven't I seen it in the last fifteen-twenty years? The answer is because I'm stupid. It's still in my top ten, easily, and I love love love this movie more than ever. It was even better than I remembered it, because I don't think I paid all that much attention to the cool dialogue back in the day, whereas now, it just made me grin and grin. Perfect combo of actors: Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, and Jack Palance. This was one of the first movies I saw Robert Ryan in, and now I remember why I always thought he was a solid, dependable, and rather sweet guy. I love him and his horses in this movie. The story is cool and slightly twisty, the action is fabulous - trains, dynamite, mine cars, horses, can't ask for more than that!, and the desert and canyon scenery is beautiful and beautifully filmed.
My sister and I were watching the beginning of "The Cassandra Crossing" the other night and she asked me if Burt Lancaster was ever happy in a movie. I said are you kidding? He's so much fun in this movie, flashing that patented grin and blowing things up and losing his pants and doing his own stunts as he almost always did.
"You're going to have to get over this nasty habit of always losing your pants. It's not dignified." - Rico (Lee Marvin)
"It's drafty too." - Bill (Burt)
And then there's Lee Marvin, who is never less than awesome and gets the single best line in the movie:
"You bastard." - Mr. Grant (Ralph Bellamy)
"Yes sir. In my case, an accident of birth. But you, sir -- you're a self-made man." - Rico (Lee Marvin)
I watched it twice in a row, making up for lost viewings. Must pick up on DVD asap.