Set in the American West of the 1940s but not a typical Western, it tells the story of two ranchers (Caan and Fonda) whose small operation is threatened both by economic hardship and the expansionist dreams of a local land baron (Robards).
A stuntman working on this film, Jim Sheppard, was killed while doing a scene where Robards' character is dragged to (presumably) his death. A horse dragging him veered from its course and caused Sheppard to hit his head on a fence post. The scene made it into the movie, although it is cut right before the horse passes through the gate where the fatal accident occurred.
- James Caan as Frank "Buck" Athearn
- Jane Fonda as Ella Connors
- Jason Robards as Jacob 'J.W.' Ewing
- George Grizzard as Neil Atkinson
- Richard Farnsworth as Dodger
- Jim Davis as Julie Blocker
- Mark Harmon as Billy Joe Meynert
- Macon McCalman as Virgil Hoverton
- Basil Hoffman as George Bascomb
- James Kline as Ralph Cole
- James Keach as Emil Kroegh