Paul Newman is ridiculous as an Apache but it’s as if he senses that fact in the first 10 minutes of the movie and just concludes, “Fuck it. I’ll just be Paul Newman.” That’s just what he does, and thankfully, from that point forward, all is well again in this Stagecoach-ish Martin Ritt western.
Newman and a group of misfits (including Martin Balsam doing his best Eli Wallach as a Mexican) share a stage to Bisbee and they are set upon by thieves/killers. Newman rises above the racism of his traveling companions (when they find out he is an Apache, they make him ride outside of the stage) and works to get them out of the jam.
It’s a tight script (based on Elmore Leonard story), it’s cynical, the ensemble is decently fleshed out, and it travels pretty well.