Cinema: Odyssey of Vengeance

Nevada Smith is an excerpt from The Carpetbaggers, blown into a widescreen western roomy enough to accommodate some of the sex and violence missing from the first, expurgated movie version of Harold Robbins' bestseller. Turning a thankless bit part created by the late Alan Ladd into a title role for Steve McQueen, Nevada follows a half-breed boy on an odyssey of vengeance in pursuit of three professional gunmen who murdered his white father, raped and skinned his Indian mother.

McQueen appears to have spilled the last of his Indian blood before the cam eras began turning. Tightly wound, unmistakably modern, he looks...

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