Roger Corman’s directorial debut. During the Civil War’s waning days, the Confederate Army conscripts five convicted killers, offering them full pardons provided they intercept a Confederate traitor traveling with a fortune in stolen gold.
A promising setup and the cast evokes the right combination of lethality and charm. John Lund shines as their self-appointed leader. Everything’s groovy until they meet Dorothy Malone and her uncle.
Then the film shifts to tepid melodrama. It proffers a romance between Malone and Lund but they lack chemistry. Corman pads the running time with repetitive dialog. Even the characters get sick of waiting.
But when the long-delayed climax arrives, it proves a head-scratching bit of self-inflicted inanity.
- 2003 | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer↩