Published on June 26, 2016
Rancher Taw Jackson (John Wayne) returns to his hometown to settle a score. Three years earlier, he was framed by corrupt businessman Frank Pierce (Bruce Cabot) and wrongfully imprisoned. Pierce did to confiscate Jackson’s land, where he discovered gold. After his prison sentence was cut short for good behavior, Jackson returns to steal a shipment of gold from Pierce. He hires Lomax (Kirk Douglas) to assist him, even though he had worked as a hired gun for Pierce and was instrumental in sending him to prison. Jackson needs Lomax not only because of his marksmanship, but also because he is a safe-cracker. The gold shipment is being transported in a “war wagon,” a heavily armored stagecoach armed with a deadly Gatling gun in a top-mounted steerable turret. Jackson and Lomax assemble a gang and plan to rob the war wagon at the weakest point in the route it travels.
Things do not quite work out as planned. Pierce dies in a shootout with one of his own men trying to escape from the war wagon. The wagon crashes into a ravine, Lomax opens the safe, and the men move the gold into a separate wagon. Before they can haul it away, however, a group of Kiowas try to take it from them. During the ensuing gunfight, the horses are spooked and run away with the wagon, and most of the gold is lost as a result. Nevertheless, Taw manages to recover a portion of it, and they agree to meet in six months to divide it, since “it wouldn’t be very smart to flash gold around after a robbery”.