The Revengers unfortunately became primarily known as the last film for actress Susan Hayward. Though she is not in many scenes those between her and William Holden as she tends to his shooting wound are the best in the entire film. Not known as a great Western and that is the problem. The final showdown is okay in regards to the action, but that is not enough of a reason to watch a film.
Coming back from a hunting trip, Civil War hero turned rancher in Colorado, John Benedict (William Holden – The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch) just wants to relax. He is greeted with a decision to make about his eldest son’s future. After coming to the decision as a family John strikes out to find the mountain lion that his son shot and wounded the day before. As he comes upon the body of the mountain lion he hears his horse being stolen and runs after the men. John manages to shoot one of them while the other gets away with his horse.
His tough time does not end there as he hears some noises coming from his home. Upon arriving there he finds his entire family killed by the renegade gang. The gang is a group of Comanches who have a couple of white men riding with them. Filled with rage and with revenge on his mind John instructs a neighbour to sell his property and everything he owns then travels to a Mexican prison with the aim of hiring a gang of six condemned men to help him hunt down the gang.
Soon on John realizes that the members of his gang – Hoop (Ernest Borgnine – The Dirty Dozen, Escape From New York), Job (Woody Strode – Spartacus, The Quick and the Dead), Chamaco (Jorge Luke – Clear and Present Danger, Salvador), Cholo (Jorge Martinez de Hoyos – The Magnificent Seven, The Professionals), Quiberon (Roger Hanin), and Zweig (Reinhald Kolldehoff – Moon Over Parador, The Little Drummer Girl) – answer to no one, not even him. He begins to wonder if these unpredictable criminals with carry out his plan or will he have to watch his own back?
Bottom line is there is precious little in the film that hasn’t been done and done better in other Westerns. By this point the whole genre was going through a low point. Director Daniel Mann gets the pacing all wrong and ends up stripping the film of any potential it had. That plus the fact that the story pretty much goes nowhere really sounds the death toll for The Revengers.
Despite the fact that the scenery (it was filmed in Mexico), action and some of the acting were decent the flaws of the film are too big to overlook.