Pike & his gang are loose bandits trailed by his former amigo Thornton & hired bounty hunters. After initial bank robbery shoot out between the both gang, Pike & bunch turned towards Mexico where they meet outlaw Mapache. They got contract to rob the train loaded with ammunition. They showed smart work and get gold coins but cheating of one guy made the things lost out of their plan culminating towards final destruction.
Packinpah has used innocence of children quite symbolically in the film. From beginning scene a group of children making fight scorpions among ants and then burning the nest as bandits entered the town and then onwards we see children in every frame of the film including some of the shoot out scenes. The film breaks the ice in making of American cowboy western; giving it different setting and look with self destructing ending with some strong performances by William Holden, Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan.
Brilliant camera work portraying fine extreme long shots and semi-slow motion action sequence of climax is the real cheese of the film. Well this is my first Packinpah film but I would love to see his others including widely acclaimed ‘Bring me the head of Alfredo Garcia’.