After the civil war, a colonel searches for the traitor who gave information to the other side and caused the loss of his friend. He discover him as the leader of some outlaws terrorising a small Texan town and the battle begins.
It seems bad manners to speak ill of the legendary Howard Hawks' swan-song and, by default, his final dalliance with the inflexible machismo of John Wayne, but this well-bred Western is just a routine canter through themes and gunfights as worn as the saddles.
It tracks a knotty search for justice, from the theft of Union gold to the post-war showdown with the rats who sold them out in Rio Lobo. Wayne dispenses with the wry self-examination of 'True Grit' and, in a post-Leone and Peckinpah era, Hawks' regal style seems sanitised.
Still, addicts of Hollywood curios can catch a saucy Sherry Lansing in the thick of things - better known as head honcho of Paramount Studios.
Fairly routine western makes a disappointing swansong for Hawks. Stiil good fun though, if you like this kind of thing.