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After his doctor orders him to take a much needed vacation, talk show host Dan Bartlett heads out to a ranch in Arizona where he hopes to get a little rest and relaxation. However, Once he arrives, he stumbles upon the murder of an Native American girl and becomes the primary suspect. In order to cl
The ratings of Dan Bartlett's New York television show soar when his wife Sheila becomes a program regular; however, the collaboration causes a rift in their relationship. On his doctor's advice, Dan decides to take a vacation at the couple's Little Bend, Arizona ranch without Sheila. Arriving at the Phoenix airport, Dan answers interviewers' questions about tribal land rights in the area by suggesting that the land be given back to its rightful owners. Hearing his position, Native American Mary Little Cloud asks to meet Dan later. As Dan cleans his little-used ranch house, he finds Mary's dead body on his bedroom floor and attempts to call the police. Discovering the phone is dead and Mary's body has disappeared, Dan rushes to town to inform the police. Finding Mary's body in the back seat of Dan's car, Sheriff Riley arrests Dan, but without a murder weapon, is forced to release him. Back at the ranch, Dan finds Crazy Hollister, a young woman who explains that she sometimes sleeps at Dan's ranch to avoid her stepfather, John Ed Hollister, owner of the 500,000 acre ranch nearby called Strawberry Hill. When Riley arrives in the middle of the night to question him, Dan accidentally sets off a loaded gun, prompting Riley to arrest him again. However, when the wheelchair-bound John Ed recognizes the television personality, he suggests that Riley release him. Back at Dan's ranch that night, Crazy explains to Dan that a short time after her mother married John Ed, she died and John Ed refused to give Crazy the inheritance to which she is entitled. Soon after, Sheila arrives at the ranch and, seeing the scantily clad Crazy, assumes her husband is having an affair. After Crazy convinces her otherwise, Sheila tells Dan that he is banned from the show because of the murder and offers to help clear his name. The Bartletts then go to Mary's uncle, Joe Little Cloud, who has no clues about Mary's death, but offers to take them to mystic Old Bear. When Joe, who is weary of tourist expectations about his Native-American background, coyly refuses to leave until the "new moon" without explaining that the moonrise begins in only a few hours, the impatient Bartletts go alone, but discover the old man can speak only in his native language. Returning later with Joe to translate, the Bartletts learn that Old Bear has divined that Mary put stones in the fireplace as a clue. Unable to discern Old Bear's meaning, Dan and Sheila, knowing that Mary visited county recorder Roscoe Snagby just before her death, question the official, who promptly closes shop. Snagby then attempts to blackmail John Ed in exchange for keeping quiet about what Mary Little Cloud told him, prompting John Ed to order his henchman Reese to kill him. Meanwhile, the Bartletts, convinced that John Ed is their only supporter, ask him to convince Riley of Dan's innocence, but when Riley finds Snagby's dead body in the Dan's car, he arrests Dan again. While in his cell, Dan dreams that a town mob is preparing to hang him while his television and movie colleagues watch him get "canceled." Meanwhile, Crazy looks at the placement of the rocks in Dan's fireplace, which are arranged in a type of Native-American code, and tells Sheila that the words are "strawberry" and "barrel." Later at Strawberry Hill, Crazy accuses her stepfather of killing her mother and Mary Little Cloud, then flees when he attacks her. Meanwhile, Sheila breaks Dan out of jail and takes him to the mechanic shop, where they are to meet with Old Bear for more clues. Arriving at the darkened shop, Dan and Sheila narrowly stop Old Bear from being crushed under an automated hydraulic lift, but the old man dies from the shock. Reese, who is hiding in the shadows, knocks Sheila and Dan unconscious and puts them under the descending lift to die. Dan regains consciousness just in time to save them both, but as they flee, the shop's owner comes to and, seeing Old Bear's body, assumes Dan and Sheila killed him. Hearing radio reports calling for their arrest only minutes later, Dan and Sheila rush to John Ed, who invites them to spend the night, secretly arranging for Reese to kill them. When Reese reaches through the bedroom window to strangle Sheila and tears her shirt, Sheila mistakes the gesture as a sexual ploy from Dan. Equally oblivious, Dan hardly notices when a knife is thrown at him. Suddenly Crazy bursts into the room to usher them out of harm's way, but Reese, holding all three at gunpoint, takes them to a deserted line shack to kill them. After Sheila uses her hairspray to blind Reese temporarily, Crazy runs for help while the Bartletts hide in a cave. Reese then detonates some explosives to trigger a rock slide, trapping the couple inside the cave. Believing that they will die there, Dan and Sheila talk openly about their relationship. Sheila laments that she was unable to give Dan a child and berates herself for selfishly joining him on his show. After Dan apologizes for his bitterness, they make love. Meanwhile, Riley and his deputy Cactus borrow John Ed's helicopter to search with John Ed for the fugitives. Dan, seeing the helicopter through a hole in the cave ceiling, uses Sheila's bra to shoot a flaming arrow into a bush to catch Riley's attention. After Riley and Cactus free Dan and Sheila from the cave, John Ed claims that Reese is responsible for all the murders. Circling the area in the helicopter, the group spot Reese pushing Crazy into a rushing river. After they land the helicopter and Dan saves Crazy, John Ed shoots Reese but as he dies, Reese utters that Mary Little Cloud found a map proving that Strawberry Hill is Native-American land. Days later, Sheila shares Old Bear's last words with Crazy, who translates them as meaning "gun up." They soon search the barrel of a gun above the mantle and find the map showing that John Ed's land belongs to the Indians. Assured that John Ed will be arrested with the new evidence, Dan and Sheila return to New York, where Sheila quits the show to rejuvenate their relationship.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||G||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 21 Sep 1972; Los Angeles opening: 11 Oct 1972|
|Release Date:||1972||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Warner Bros., Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Naho Enterprises|
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cancel my reservation
hey! chill out everyone!! why do so many people hate this piece of Hollywood history?...several other "film history" websites have so much ire...