Just back from a cattle drive, a range-wandering loner looks for work in the wrong place and offends a family of outlaws who come after him. His escape from them leads to another kind of trap--one set by a love-hungry woman (Hackett, in a strong performance). Heston considers this film his personal best, and he's probably right. Superbly directed western, with excellent cinematography and professional, realistic portrayals, flopped in theatres, moviegoers preferring simultaneous Heston outing "Planet of the Apes."
Though I'm sure not many people have heard of this flick, I would argue that it stands as the single best of all of Charlton Heston's performances on screen. He fully inhabits the title role and plays it with an understated realism rarely seen in the rest of his work. The character of Will Penny is no larger-than-life epic hero, he's just a man with a man's failings, and Heston beautifully conveys Penny's awkwardness and fear of commitment as well as his strength and courage. Heston was never better.