One reviewer found this tale dull and pretentious as the writer turns to myth in his tale like a religious story
where we dont know anything about person who comew to town not even his name but just preacher. They know that by his behavior, he has a religious sense to him, that is missing in others. Here we have a tale of a gold mine where the homesteaders are not being dealt fairly by a group known as hood(or something like that) so the problem heree is not rich against poor but as in myths the nature of a group of people who have appropriated the law to achieve their ends, means justifies ends. The characters are not really well rounded and we dont know that much about them, just a young girl and her mother and Eastwood rarely talks. One scene with the young girl she tries to seduce hum but he puts her off and she talks of love, and he tells her she needs to further understand that word, she wants some kind of physical relationship. He then says your MOTHER is a fine woman and when he rescues her from a gang assault and brings her to her home, dishevelled and at wits ends instead of hugging her mother she hugs the preacher. A later scene has the mother making a pass at the preacher but he leaves, and isn't interested in her, then she decides to go back to another man, she knows he's leaving town...and says to her husband he's a fine man. A little story about the meaning of love and relationships, and the preacher surmises the young girl needs to experience love in the
outside world. Reviewers may not like characters set up as types but this is the terrain where Eastwood goes in this film and others, looking into moral natures, and even the towns and everything are nameless, perhaps planetless.
I film which admittedly borrows from Shane and High Noon, but its a cogent piece of work since he goes elsewhere and here the preacher and the film is well set up. The rest of the tale is well written of in a high noon ending..and his westerns are different and not localized, much more deeply layered, and here he examines a family unable to love, these types of stories should not be explained since everyone takes from it what his life leads him to find there..I've just mentioned a few things I've not seen...I recall this film from years ago and enjoyed it again...