Nov 28, 201212:55 PMThe Telegraph

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Wednesday Western: 'The Spikes Gang'

Nov 28, 2012 - 12:55 PM
Wednesday Western: 'The Spikes Gang'

MGM/UA

Free for you to view from YouTube: The Spikes Gang, an edgy 1974 western with Lee Marvin at the top of his form as Harry Spikes, a notorious desperado who easily convinces three impressionable farm boys (Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith of American Graffiti, Gary Grimes of Summer of ’42) to join him in a life of crime. Trouble is, that life might be a short one — especially if Harry decides his new partners in crime might be worth more dead than alive.

Directed by Richard Fleischer (Fantastic Voyage, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), The Spikes Gang is one of three ’70s Westerns that showcased Grimes in key roles. He earned his spurs as a cowhand in The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972), and appeared opposite John Wayne in Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973). But acting evidently didn’t appeal to Grimes: He made only one other feature film after Spikes Gang — the 1976 Walt Disney comedy Gus — then more or less slipped out of the public eye.

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