skip navigation
The Three Outlaws

The Three Outlaws(1956)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

In 1898, when Butch Cassiday, The Sundance Kid and Bill Carver, members of the notorious Wild Bunch gang, try to enlist in the U.S. Army to fight in the Spanish-American War, the recruiting sergeant sees their picture on a wanted poster and telegraphs the sheriff. Butch, Sundance and Carver quickly ride out of town, then wait for the Tall Texan, a cohort who is helping them waylay a small payroll train they have robbed previously. Wanting to give up the nomadic life of an outlaw, Butch suggests that they commandeer the train and take it to Mexico. Although the Texan is killed in a gunfight over the train, the Wild Bunch successfully commandeers it and heads for Mexico. Some time later, railroad owner Barton angrily tells security company head Campbell and his top agent, Charlie Trenton, that he wants his train back. Meanwhile, Butch, Sundance and Carver have bought a hacienda near San Sebastian and are depositing the payroll money, over $57,000, in the aging town bank. Gutzmer, the affable banker, welcomes their huge deposit, and assures Butch that the fifty-year-old safe has never been robbed. Butch, who introduces himself as Santiago Burton, then invites Gutzmer to a party at the hacienda that night. Their conversation is observed by Profiro Rodrigues "El Raton," who quickly rides to the hideaway of the notorious outlaw "El Gallo." At first El Gallo laughs at El Raton, thinking that the bank would never hold that much money, but El Raton convinces him that his story is true. That night, at the party, Butch, Bill, who is now known as Pedro, and Sundance, who goes by the name Enrique Towers, are introduced to Col. Aguilar, head of the Corregidores, the government police force. While Sundance dances with the colonel's daughter Rita, Aguilar warns the bemused Butch that the area is plagued by "banditos" headed by El Gallo. Moments later, a huge explosion is heard and the colonel is informed that the explosion occurred at the bank. When Aguilar, Gutzmer and Butch arrive at the bank, they discover that the vault has been emptied. Aguilar promises to find El Gallo, but Butch, Sundance and Carver are distraught at having lost everything. Meanwhile, when El Gallo divides up the robbery money he keeps almost everything for himself and his girl friend, Serelda, and only gives El Raton one twenty-dollar bill. El Raton angrily suggests that he "could talk" to Aguilar, but leaves when El Gallo threatens him. A short time later, Aguilar calls Butch and Sundance into his office. After asking them to pay their outstanding bills, he informs them that El Raton was caught trying to use an American twenty-dollar bill. When Butch reveals that he has the serial numbers of the missing bills, Aguilar reads the number but tells him it is not on the list, even though it is. Later, Butch and Sundance follow El Raton and frighten him into revealing details of the robbery. After laughing at El Raton's "cut" from the robbery, Butch offers him twenty-five percent to share future information with them. A short time later, Butch, Sundance and Carver, disguised as masked Mexican banditos, rob a payroll office and ride away. A few minutes later, after the clerk has telephoned the Corregidores, El Gallo and his men enter the office. When the confused clerk tells El Gallo that he just gave him the money, the furious bandit leaves, closely followed by the arriving Corregidores. The next day, Butch gives Aguilar the money to settle their bills. At the same time, Sundance is meeting Rita, with whom he has fallen in love. He presents her with an expensive brooch and in turn she gives him a family locket that contains her picture. Some time later, Campbell tells Charlie that train robbery money has been showing up at a Mexican exchange bank and sends Charlie to investigate. Meanwhile, El Gallo continues to be frustrated by the bandits who robs his targets before he arrives. At the site of one robbery, Aguilar's men recover Rita's locket, which Sundance had dropped. When Aguilar confronts Rita, she claims to have lost the necklace but later confronts Sundance, but Sundance says that he loves her and promises to return everything they have stolen as soon as they recover their money from El Gallo. Soon Charlie arrives in San Sebastian to confer with Aguilar. That night, Rita privately asks if Charlie has a picture of the "Yankee banditos" he is following and he shows her the wanted poster. She then goes to Sundance, who tells her the truth but insists that he never lied about loving her. Some time later, Aguilar, who has also seen the wanted poster, and Charlie arrive at the hacienda, which is deserted, except for El Raton. In Aguilar's office, El Raton confesses everything and, on Charlie's suggestion, agrees to approach El Gallo about working with Aguilar to capture the Wild Bunch. Although El Gallo is skeptical, he meets Aguilar. El Gallo is infuriated to hear that El Raton has betrayed him, but he and the colonel have a grudging respect for each other and El Gallo agrees to help capture the Wild Bunch. El Gallo then intimidates El Raton into betraying the Wild Bunch. That night, Aguilar confronts Rita about her involvement with Sundance and puts her into protective custody to prevent her from warning him. The next day, El Raton finds the Wild Bunch hiding in the hills and suggests another robbery. Although Butch still wants to go straight, Sundance pressures him by saying that they need the money to get out of Mexico. When Butch, Sundance, Bill and El Raton ride into the town to commit the robbery, Butch has a hunch that something is wrong, but Sundance accuses him of losing his nerve. As they enter the bank, El Gallo and the Corregidores arrive. Realizing that they have been betrayed, Sundance shoots El Raton in the back, then Carver is killed by the Corregidores. Butch and Sundance ride out of town with the others in close pursuit. At a crossroads, El Gallo tells Aguilar that Butch and Sundance must be heading for an old mission. The two groups separate, and soon after arriving at the mission, Butch and Sundance are surrounded. At a lull in the ensuing gun battle, Charlie shouts out to Butch and Sundance to give up, but Butch answers that they will never be taken alive. As Butch and Sundance decide to wait until nightfall and escape into the hills, El Gallo suggests that he sneak up behind them before they get a chance to escape. As the gun battle resumes, El Gallo slips into the hideout. Butch and Sundance are so distracted when El Gallo surprises them from behind, that Charlie and the colonel are able to break through the front. Butch mortally wounds El Gallo, and in the melee, the colonel is wounded in the shoulder. Both Sundance and Butch are killed, as is El Gallo, who dies telling the colonel that he is glad he ended on the right side of the law. Some time later, Rita returns home and says that she is happy Sundance is dead because he was like a poison. As Charlie starts to leave, Rita tells him that she would like to see his country and he offers to show it to her someday.