Marshall Cowan and the mercenary Miller are both separately hunting the outlaw Catlow. During the Civil War both Cowan and the always smiling Catlow were comrades. Catlow helps Cowan, when he is wounded in the right leg by an arrow from the Apaches, despite Cowan hunting him. Catlow escapes with help of his gang. Catlow then robs a Mexican gold shipment, worth $ 2,000,000. Catlow flees with the stolen gold through the dangerous territory of the Apaches who, besides Miller, Cowan and the Mexican cavalry, are hunting for him and his gang of outlaws.
Very entertaining MGM western
CATLOW is a very entertaining MGM western from 1971 and features Yul Brynner as the title character. Based on a Louis Lamour story, the script allows Brynner and costar Richard Crenna, who play outlaw and marshal respectively, a fair amount of witty banter and plenty of action sequences. Meanwhile, Leonard Nimoy, who wrote about how much he enjoyed making this movie in his autobiographies, is a most impressive heavy, seeking Catlow for his own reasons.
If one had not ever seen Brynner in previous screen performance, and if one had never heard of Nimoy’s television alter ego Spock, this would be the perfect film to get familiar with the actors’ considerable talents. The vicious gunfighter he plays is a departure for Nimoy, who even has a rare nude scene to perform. Brynner, for his part, plays his anti-heroic figure with such relish that one can’t help but be entertained by him.
What works best of all with CATLOW is the film’s quick and even pace. There is seldom a slow moment. The action sequences build logically, then end quickly, usually giving way to the next sequence that is already building. Since much of the film has been shot on location, the authentic exteriors add yet another winning element to the picture’s overall entertainment value.