The Spikes Gang (1974)

PG | 96 mins | Western | 1974

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HISTORY

According to a Box news item on 28 Jan 1974, the film was initially titled Harry Spikes .
       HR production charts on 22 Jun 1973 stated that shooting began 11 Jun 1973 in Madrid, Spain, and the last update of production in HR was on 14 Sep ... More Less

According to a Box news item on 28 Jan 1974, the film was initially titled Harry Spikes .
       HR production charts on 22 Jun 1973 stated that shooting began 11 Jun 1973 in Madrid, Spain, and the last update of production in HR was on 14 Sep 1973.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Jul 1973.
---
Box Office
28 Jan 1974.
---
Box Office
15 Apr 1974
p. 4680.
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1974.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 1973
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 1973
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 1974.
---
LAHExam
14 Jun 1974.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Jun 1973
Section IV, p. 26.
New York Times
2 May 1974
p. 61.
Variety
10 Apr 1974
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Walter Mirisch--Richard Fleischer production
In association with Irving Ravetch
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Negative processed by
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Scr supv
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Bank Robber by Giles Tippette (New York, 1970).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Harry Spikes
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 1 May 1974
Los Angeles opening: 12 June 1974
Production Date:
11 June--mid September 1973 in Madrid
Copyright Claimant:
The Mirisch Corporation of California
Copyright Date:
18 March 1974
Copyright Number:
LP43609
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
DeLuxe
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In rural Texas, three teenage boys, Will, Les and Tod, discover an injured man and assume he is dead. When the man asks for help, they hide him in Will’s barn and clean his wounds despite their fear of getting in trouble. Some time later, a band of cowboys passes through Will’s family homestead looking for the stranger and warn that the man is dangerous, but Will does not reveal his location. In the evening, the boys bring the man food, money and clothes, but he returns the money, telling them that there is $1000 in gold hidden in his pants and he introduces himself as Harry Spikes, the infamous bank robber. Before leaving on Will’s horse, Spikes promises to return the favor. At dinner, Will’s father demands to know where his horse is. When Will admits he gave it to Spikes, he is severely beaten. Running away on his father’s horse the next evening, Will stops to say goodbye to his friends and they decide to join him for an adventure. The boys unsuccessfully search for work and, at a church, Will and Les satisfy their hunger with Communion wafers and wine. Penniless and starving in a neighboring town, the boys are harassed by the sheriff and, as they leave, Will suggests that they follow in Spikes’s footsteps and rob the bank. As Will and Les steal cash from the safe, the sheriff arrives and Tod holds him up. After taking the sheriff’s gun, the boys make their getaway, but Tod is grabbed by a passerby and accidentally fires the gun, killing the man. Dodging bullets as ... +


In rural Texas, three teenage boys, Will, Les and Tod, discover an injured man and assume he is dead. When the man asks for help, they hide him in Will’s barn and clean his wounds despite their fear of getting in trouble. Some time later, a band of cowboys passes through Will’s family homestead looking for the stranger and warn that the man is dangerous, but Will does not reveal his location. In the evening, the boys bring the man food, money and clothes, but he returns the money, telling them that there is $1000 in gold hidden in his pants and he introduces himself as Harry Spikes, the infamous bank robber. Before leaving on Will’s horse, Spikes promises to return the favor. At dinner, Will’s father demands to know where his horse is. When Will admits he gave it to Spikes, he is severely beaten. Running away on his father’s horse the next evening, Will stops to say goodbye to his friends and they decide to join him for an adventure. The boys unsuccessfully search for work and, at a church, Will and Les satisfy their hunger with Communion wafers and wine. Penniless and starving in a neighboring town, the boys are harassed by the sheriff and, as they leave, Will suggests that they follow in Spikes’s footsteps and rob the bank. As Will and Les steal cash from the safe, the sheriff arrives and Tod holds him up. After taking the sheriff’s gun, the boys make their getaway, but Tod is grabbed by a passerby and accidentally fires the gun, killing the man. Dodging bullets as they ride out of town, Tod falls off his horse. Les pulls Tod onto his horse, but the stolen cash spills from his pockets. Now fugitives, the boys cross the border into Mexico. Tod is remorseful about the killing and wants to turn himself in, but Will insists that the gang stays together. Later, Tod collapses from hunger. Will sells his grandfather’s pocket watch so they can eat, but when he attempts to steal it back, the boys are caught and put in jail. Eight weeks later, the boys see Spikes through their prison window and he negotiates their release. Spikes tells the boys that the man Tod killed was a senator and there is a $1500 bounty for each of them. Buying the boys food, Spikes encourages them to accept their fate and says they are better off than most people because they are not tied down to one place. Later, Spikes announces that he is going to a brothel and instructs the boys to return to his hotel, but the boys secretly follow. Spikes finds the boys asleep outside his room the next morning, buys them breakfast and bids them farewell. Although the boys find work, they are continually fired, and when Spikes returns to town, he offers to take them on as his gang and equips them with guns and clothes. Instructing the boys about their first heist as the Spikes Gang, Spikes explains that if someone gets caught, they must accept death rather than give up their partners. Later, as they eat around a campfire, Spikes tells the boys that he loved his wife, but he killed her when he found her with another man. The gang crosses back into the United States. As they wait outside of the town they plan to rob, Tod writes a letter to his mother and asks his friends to give it to her if something happens to him. Some time later, the gang is visited by Kid White, who has figured out the identity of Spikes and the boys and wants to be included in the heist. When White draws his gun on Tod to prove he is a good gunfighter, Will kills him, but he is burdened with remorse. The next day, the gang’s heist does not go according to plan and a gun battle ensues. Hearing the commotion from his guard position outside, Tod runs into the bank and is shot. Will and Les help Tod onto his horse and the gang rides out of town, chased by a group of townsmen. Spikes is shot but Will guides him behind a barricade of rocks and they fend off the attackers. Spikes insists on leaving Tod behind because he will not survive, but Will and Les are resolute about staying with their friend and Will accuses Spikes of being dishonorable. As the boys and Spikes go their separate ways, Will rides to a saloon to look for a doctor and meets several local men who are skeptical about his story. When Will returns to camp, he finds Tod dead and says that he must tell Tod’s family. Meanwhile, in another town, Spikes receives a message from a local Marshall who wants to discuss a business proposition. Back at the boys’ camp, Les wakes to find that Will has returned home to deliver Tod’s letter. In a note Will left behind, he instructs Les to meet him at a church in Mexico. Will arrives at Tod’s house to discover his parents are gone for the day, but he gives Tod’s letter to his younger sister and tells her that Tod is doing well. At the church in Mexico, Will is met by a man who says Les is dying from bullet wounds inflicted by two bounty hunters, Morton and Spikes. Will goes to the hospital and shoots Morton dead, but Les dies in his arms before they can escape. Finding Spikes in a hotel room, Will threatens to kill him. Spikes admits that the governor of Texas offered him amnesty if he captured Les and Will and claims he fired at Les in self-defense. Unmoved, Will demands that Spikes sit up before he kills him, but Spikes throws his hat at the boy, grabs his gun and fires. As they exchange shots, Spikes is killed. Wounded, Will stumbles to the train station but he is too weak to board. Watching the train depart without him, Will dreams of returning home to his father’s embrace and dies. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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