The Spikes Gang

The Spikes Gang

Richard Fleischer (1974)

12 Certificate


Our Score
It's a shame that this was filmed in Spain, for it's the European look and corny Almeria locations that undermine any grit that director Richard Fleischer and star Lee Marvin can bring to this intriguing screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr - the team responsible for such estimable westerns as Hud and Hombre. Like Bad Company and The Cowboys, this is a story of awestruck youths out west, including The Culpepper Cattle Co's Gary Grimes and Happy Days's Ron Howard, now better known as director of such major features as Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind. The lads idolise Marvin's Harry Spikes (the film's original title) who teaches them to rob banks. The then fashionable dashes of violence don't help this tale, and Fleischer has done better work; it almost seems as though he left his sense of taste and style at home.


Three boys shelter a wounded outlaw on the run. As he regales them with tales of his exploits, they are inspired to become bank robbers themselves and he is only too happy to help them. But when the young bandits end up with a price on their heads, their mentor decides to betray them. Western, with Lee Marvin, Ron Howard and Charles Martin Smith.

Cast & Crew

Harry Spikes Lee Marvin
Les Ron Howard
Tod Charles Martin Smith
Kid White Arthur Hunnicutt
Will Gary Grimes
Basset Noah Beery
Abel Young Marcus Smith
Billy Elliott Sullivan
Director Richard Fleischer
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. LtdGuidance: Edited for some of its language and contains violence. Available on: video and DVD