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Nevada Smith (1966)

aka Nevada Smith

"Some called him savage- and some called him saint... some felt his hate- and one found his love... and three had to die..."

Directed By: 
Details: 125 mins · English

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Taglines:

"Some called him savage- and some called him saint... some felt his hate- and one found his love... and three had to die..."

"Driving him, burning him, a storm of revenge swept Nevada Smith across the West to make a legend of his name."

"He Loved... Hated... Killed."

"Now a name...soon a legend."

Plot:

A trio of outlaws – Bill Bowdre (Arthur Kennedy) and Jesse Coe (Martin Landau), led by Tom Fitch (Karl Malden) – robs, tortures and brutally kills the white father and Indian mother of young Max Sand (Steve McQueen). Max sets out to avenge their death. One killer keeps a tobacco pouch containing a bit of deerskin decorated with Indian beads from Sand's mother's shirt – the tobacco pouch was made from the breast of Max's mother and Max knew this – and it is a clue Max uses in his search.

Max cannot read or write and is not skilled with a gun. He unsuccessfully tries to rob, Jonas Cord, Sr. (Brian Keith), a traveling gunsmith. Cord takes pity on Max, feeds him and teaches him how to shoot.

Max hunts the killers, who have since separated. With the help of saloon girl Neesa (Janet Margolin), a woman from the same tribe as his mother, he tracks down Jesse Coe in an Abilene, Texas saloon, killing him in a knife fight inside a corral. A wounded Max is taken to the reservation by Neesa, who helps his wounds mend while becoming his lover.

After healing, Max leaves Neesa to continue his pursuit. He pulls a robbery and deliberately gets caught, facilitating being sent to a prison in a Louisiana swamp where Bowdre is now serving time. Pilar (Suzanne Pleshette), a Cajun girl working in the rice fields near the convicts’ camp, gives Max comfort and finds a water craft to help him escape through the swamps. He lets Bowdre join them and murders him along the way. The boat tips in the swamp, and Pilar dies from a snake bite.

Still blinded by revenge, Max goes after Fitch, the last of the murderers. He infiltrates Fitch's gang, calling himself Nevada Smith, as the outlaw is now fully aware that a "Max Sand" is out there somewhere, trying to ambush him.

During a robbery, Nevada Smith reveals himself as Max Sand. Fitch runs for his life, but Max tracks him down near a creek and begins to torture him slowly, shooting him in the arms and legs. As the outlaw begs to be killed to release him from his physical agony, Max cannot bring himself to do it and rides away.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2003-04-22