A film ahead of its time, one that challenges Hollywood westerns both thematically and visually in a way that would become big with revisionist films nearly twenty years later. Sam Fuller was interesting visionary because he both admired and resisted commercial moviemaking. His films seem distant from the system yet they utilize so much of it. Though it isn't as powerful a telling of the Bob Ford story as Andrew Dominik's 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)', Fuller's version is nearly as violent in isolating Ford as a greedy opportunist while secretly (and painfully) revealing to its audience the sad truth behind the story- that behind the mythos and the towering legend, Ford was a human being, and one irreversible action, even if it was cold-blooded murder, ruined his life and probably haunted him through his final breath. Ford is played here powerfully by John Ireland; he gives the character a cold and careless immediacy yet has a softness behind the eyes. He is a boy, really, and the performance, like Casey Affleck's in Dominik's film, helps to show that we don't really grow up, we just learn to pretend.