Introduced by Robert Morast, Houston Chronicle arts & entertainment editor

Jack Nicholson stars as Charlie Smith, a burned-out border-patrol officer in a small Texas town near El Paso. He makes ends meet by joining his coworker (Harvey Keitel) for kickbacks in what amounts to a homegrown slave trade. But Charlie’s corrupt behavior changes when the baby of an impoverished woman is put up for sale on the black market.

“[It] feels like it could have been released last month, still as topical and as vital as it was upon first release.” —

“If you want to see Jack Nicholson give a simple, compelling performance with absolutely no hambone antics, look no further than this underrated drama.” —

• “Rolling Stone” interview with director Tony Richardson

• These are the 50 greatest Texas movies ever. Ever. —“Houston Chronicle”

About the Speaker
A North Dakota native raised on a ranch, journalist Robert Morast has been the Houston Chronicle arts and entertainment editor since 2016, preceded by stints including Arizona State University, the Virginian-Pilot, the Argus Leader, and the ProRodeo Sports News. Morast also co-authored the horror film The Girl in the Photographs, which was produced by Wes Craven and was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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Tony Richardson
Running Time
108 minutes
35mm, Color