I hadn't seen this film in many years but it was just as good and bizarre as I remembered it.
A mysterious, nameless woman played by Millie Perkins hires and ex bounty hunter turned miner, Willett Gashade and his slightly simple partner Coley to help her take a trip across the desert and at first her reasons are not made clear.
Willett agrees to this as his mine is rather unsuccessful in that one of his partners is dead and his brother Coin has gone missing..
It soon become apparent that the woman is making a trip to a far away town in order to seek revenge against the man who killed her son and husband. Shortly after the journey begins Willett makes it clear he does like the woman in the least, but his partner Coley is somewhat smitten with her.
The group is soon joined by a well dressed young man named Billy Spear (Jack Nicholson) who is a hired killer. The tension mounts as the journey begins to take it's toll.
There is a lot of bizarre scenes in this film, and some of the things that go on are not made clear, but if you pay attention the climax is a wonderful payoff.
Directed by Monte Hellman in the deserts near Kanab, Utah, this little film is one of the best of it's kind. It's very minimalist and yet has more sights to offer than most films.
The acting is all top notch, and Perkins does as excellent job as a woman whose humanity has been completely removed after the murder of her husband and son.
This film was shot back to back with another Hellman classic western entitled "Ride In The Whirlwind" which is just as good.
I would recommend this great little movie to not just western fans, but film fans in general. I have heard that Roger Corman was an uncredited producer on this film, and I can very much believe this as it does seem to have a lot of the Corman staples in it. Anyway, just check it out.