Santee was Glenn Ford's last starring role in a major motion picture Western, and it is better to remember after watching it that he will always be known as one of the all-time great Western stars.
In Santee, Ford plays a hardbitten bounty hunter who kills the father of a young boy, who Santee takes home to raise as his own. You know that the boy, played by Michael Burns, wants to kill the man who killed his father, and you know that sooner or later, the boy will come to respect, and maybe even love Santee. You don't expect the boy to forgive so quickly. You also know that the boy will eventually have to help Santee round up some outlaws, but the usual excitement and enjoyment just doesn't payoff, even with an ending that is more poignant, and more interesting than a lot of older or modern westerns.
For Ford's sake, you wish that the cliches weren't so overwhelming. Ford does what he can with the role, which is more than a lot of other actors could, but Santee ends up being a pale imitation of many of Ford's other roles.