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The Gauntlet (1977)

Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.

Director:

Clint Eastwood
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Ben Shockley
Sondra Locke ... Gus Mally
Pat Hingle ... Josephson
William Prince ... Blakelock
Bill McKinney ... Constable
Michael Cavanaugh ... Feyderspiel
Carole Cook ... Waitress
Mara Corday ... Jail Matron
Doug McGrath ... Bookie (as Douglas McGrath)
Jeff Morris Jeff Morris ... Desk Sergeant
Samantha Doane Samantha Doane ... Biker
Roy Jenson ... Biker
Dan Vadis ... Biker
Carver Barnes Carver Barnes ... Bus Driver
Robert Barrett Robert Barrett ... Paramedic
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Storyline

In Phoenix, Arizona, alcoholic and mediocre Detective Ben Shockley (Clint Eastwood) is assigned by Chief Commissary Blakelock (William Prince) to bring witness Gus Mally (Sondra Locke) from Las Vegas, Nevada for a minor trial. Shockley travels to Las Vegas and finds that Gus Mally is an aggressive and intelligent prostitute with a college degree and she tells him that the odds are against her showing up in court. Shockley learns that she will actually testify against a powerful mobster, and the mafia is chasing them, trying to kill them both. He calls Blakelock and requests a Police escort from Phoenix to protect them. But soon, he discovers that someone is betraying him in the Police Department. Now, Shockley and Malley hijack a bus and Shockley welds thick steel plates and transforms the cabin in an armored bus trying to reach the Forum. But they will need to drive through a gauntlet of Police Officers armed with heavy weapons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Clint Eastwood is the man in the middle of The Gauntlet

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gauntlet See more »

Filming Locations:

Florence, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$26,414,658

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,414,658
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was originally set to star Marlon Brando and Barbra Streisand. Brando subsequently withdrew and was replaced by Steve McQueen, who later dropped out. See more »

Goofs

When Shockley and Gus leave on the motorcycle they go up a slight rise in terrain before turning, but the motorcycle gang had just gone the same way and the terrain was all downhill. See more »

Quotes

Ben Shockley: [driving the ambulance] Come here!
[panicky, she scurries up from the back]
Ben Shockley: Take this!
[holds out the service revolver to her]
Gus Mally: What's that?
Ben Shockley: It's a gun, take it!
Gus Mally: Well, I don't want it!
Ben Shockley: Take it!
[she takes it]
Ben Shockley: Anybody comes up behind us, shoot 'em!
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

A disclaimer at the end reads: "Law enforcement procedures depicted in this film do not necessarily represent those of any law enforcement agency mentioned herein." See more »

Alternate Versions

Back in 1978 Norwegian cinema version was cut to get an 16 rating, later video rental version and DVD version are uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Logan (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Just A Closer Walk with Thee
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Welcome to Arizona: The Grand Canyon State
25 December 2006 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

**SPOILERS** Given the assignment to bring in a witness from Las Vages to testify against Arizona mobster Deluca disheveled and somewhat inebriated Phoenix detective Ben Shockley,Clint Eastwood,at first thinks that it's like what the new police commissioner Blakeock, William Prince, told him. The person he's bringing back to testify is nothing more then a nothing witness for a nothing case; how wrong that turned out to be.

Picking up Agustina, know to everyone in the movie as just plain Gus, Mally (Sandra Locke) at the Las Vages lock-up Shockley is confronted with a scared to death hooker who tells an uninterested and by the books cop that there's a contract out on her. Gus also tells Shockley that he'll end up together with her, dead, if he as much as leaves the police station. Taking Gus' statement with nothing more then a grain of salt Shockley goes on to do his duty and follow orders. Within the next five minutes he suddenly realizes that Gus is right and he's not only a fool but a pasty set up to take the hit together with Gus! By non-other then his boss back in Phoenix police commissioner Blakelock!

Not that believable to say the lest yet very exciting Clint Eastwood auctioneer "The Gauntlet" has some of the most wildest shootouts in motion picture history. With thousands of bullets being expended, enough to deplete the ammunition arsenals of an entire US Army infantry division, yet end up not as much as killing anyone that the shots are aimed at until the very last few minutes of the movie. There's this scene towards the end of the movie where hundreds of policemen standing on both side of the street are blasting away at the armor plated bus that both Shockley and Gus commandeered. The cops not only miss hitting their intended targets, Shockley & Gus, but don't even kill or wound themselves! As their actually firing at point blank range, or within 50 feet, at each other!

The fact that Shockley was picked by commissioner Blakelock to do the job of extraditing Gus should have alerted him that something isn't kosher. Since he's the last person on the force that would normally be assigned to do a job like that. Shockley would be expected to end up in a Las Vegas bar rather then in the city's police station. Feeling that somehow he's been given an important assignment to do Shockley was determined to succeed and impress his superior. What he didn't know is that his superior commissioner Blakelock wants him to fail in having his prisoner not make it back to trial because her testimony will end up putting him behind bars for the rest of his life.

Obviously made for laughs, you can't take this movie seriously no matter how hard you try, "The Gauntlet" is undoubtedly one of Eastwoods' early attempt at doing comedy and in a way succeeds even beyond Clint's wildest dreams. By having him and his then girlfriend Sandra Locke run the gauntlet as the entire Phoenix PD and Arizona highway patrol, as well as reinforcements from the neighboring states, try to stop Clint & Sandra or Shockley & Gus. The movie ends with two making it back home and alive to the Phoenix City Hall with the goods, protected witness Gus Mally, on the sleazy corrupt and mobbed up police commissioner Blakelock who by then had, with all the stress and frustration he went through in the film, gone so completely off the wall that he would have easily gotten off with an insanity defense.


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