Sensitive Western with satisfying and impressive directorial by William A Fraker , in his film debut for this award-winning cinematographer , being based on Jack Schaefer's novel , author of ¨Shane¨ . The film starts at the ending XIX century when appears railway , big companies buy ranches and new technologies put difficult things for traditional cowboys who lost their jobs . Monty Walsh (Lee Marvin) a veteran cowboy sees declining the ending days of Wild West era and the transition to a new century where horses are left . As railway and barbed wire hardly eliminate the need for the cowboys who are yearning the freedom of the open prairie . The aging cowboy realizes that the West he knew and loved will soon be no more and that there will be no room for him, either . In spite of penury , shortage and obstacles he faithfully carry out his thoughts and wishes and he goes on being a good cowboy . Monty along with his best friend (Jack Palance , this is one of only a few occasions where Jack is not cast as a villain and giving a touching acting) transport a herd of horses across the countries . Their lives are divided between months on the range and the occasional trip into town . They find themselves like dinosaurs in an old West that's dying out . Monty has a long-term relationship with a prostitute named Martine Bernard , while Chet has fallen under the spell of the widow who owns the hardware store. Monte Walsh and his partners are left with few options for survive , tough new jobs opportunities are available. Round-up , go riding and relationship with the other cowboys fill their days, until one of the hands , Shorty Austin (Mitch Ryan) , loses his job and gets involved in rustling and killing . Aging cowboy Monty is a good and professional man and embarks on mission to avenge his colleague .
Moving and sensitive Western where the cowboys must say goodbye to the lives they know and some of them attempt to make a new upright start and others way to crime . This melancholic picture is acclaimed like one of the best twilight Western and has a nice nostalgic feeling . It's an excellent Western with thrills , emotion , a love story , shootouts , breathtaking scenarios ; but also melancholy , competition , unlovable camaraderie and emotionalism . Moving Western , elegiac , subdued and worthwhile for genre lovers , including great Lee Marvin and Jack Palance in an unusual good guy character . However, the narration is too slow-moving to keep a fine grip on the interest . The movie was shot on location , including marvelous outdoors in Mescal, Arizona, Old Tucson, Arizona , being splendidly photographed by David M Walsh . Sensitive and stirring Western where cowboys must say goodbye to the lives they know and undergo an extraordinary and dangerous travel . Great acting for all casting with magnificent main roles from Marvin as Monty who only lives his work and is enamored for a prostitute named Countess Martine and Jack Palance as his loyal friend . Ample support cast with several familiar faces such as Mitch Ryan , Matt Clak , G.D. Spradlin , Bo Hopkins , Jim Davis , film debut of Eric Christmas and final film of veteran villain Roy Barcroft, who died before its release. Special mention to Jeanne Moreau as an aging whore who falls in love . Gorgeous landscapes , reflecting wonderfully the wide open spaces, they are splendidly photographed . Gorgeous outdoors are well photographed by cameraman David Walsh. Emotive as well evocative musical score by the great John Barry in his ordinary and brilliant style , including some wonderful songs . Sensational directorial by notorious cameraman William A Fraker . Usual and top-notch cameraman William A Fraker proves himself a proficient filmmaker in this , his first venture , though he subsequently directed another Western , a failure ¨Lone Ranger¨ . It's followed by a remake starred by Tom Selleck titled ¨Monte Walsh¨ TV (2003) by Simon Wincer with Isabella Rossellini, in Jeanne Moreau's role , Keith Carradine in Jack Palance role , George Eads, William Sanderson, Rex Linn and William Devane, role of Jim Davis . Rating : Better than average for the proficient film-making . It's a magnificent movie , and an unforgettable , unchallenged classic western.