A huge flop at the time of its release ,its now possible to see Martin Ritts film for what it is a flawed epic of the American working mans struggle to break the grip of the barons in charge of the Mines.
Richard Harris is a Pinkerton agent sent to infiltrate a gang of rebel miners nicknamed the Molly Maguires lead by Jack Kehoe played by Sean Connery.
At first Harris is greetd with suspicion by the local men but he soon finds himself torn between his job and the genuine complaints that the miners have about there work.
What we get here are to outstanding performances from Connery and Harris as men on oppposite sides of the law who have a lot more in common than either realise.
Martin Ritt is partly forgotten as a director today in the rush to praise the Auters .
But the opening wordless 10 minute opening shot by Vetran DP James Wong Howe is an outstanding piece of cinema.
Its true that the filkm does lose itself in the romance between Harris and Samantha Eggar but the rest of the film more than makes up for some slack pacing.
Maybe its time to rediscover the work of Martin Ritt as this film really is worth catching.