A great mid-1970s cast holds fort in this Western tale of a test of endurance in a 1900s wasteland. A railroad company sponsors a unique competition: a grueling Denver-to-Kansas City horse race that tests the motivation and determination of a motley collection of competitors. The rivals come to respect each other as they endure one beautifully photographed hardship after another. The film features riveting performances by Gene Hackman, James Coburn, and Candice Bergen, among others.
Filmed in the classic Western tradition, this tale of a 700-mile horse race in the early 1900s takes its stalwart competitors over some rough western terrain and through various inclement conditions. The wide variety of contestants has differing reasons for entering the grueling race, but each and every one of them has their eyes on the prize: $2,000. The rivals include an honorable Rough Rider (Gene Hackman), a plucky young woman (Candice Bergen), a drifting ex-cowboy (James Coburn), a reckless young bad boy (Jan-Michael Vincent), a wealthy British sportsman (Ian Bannen), and a Pony Express rider (Ben Johnson). As the disparate band of competitors sets out on the harsh and grueling desert ride, each person is forced to respect one another and work together as they endure a wide variety of dangerous conditions. This episodic tale features gorgeous cinematography of miles of barren and lone wasteland shot in contrast to the live-wire pageantry of the race, teeming with gritty scenes of the rough wild West full of hucksters, hustlers, and bawdy barmaids whooping it up until dawn.