The audience appeal of loners-against-corruption is here refashioned with the hero inside a marauding Sherman tank, taking on a maniacal southern sheriff in defense of integrity and family.
James Garner’s persona gives the events a soft, human, and at times bemused edge.
First 10 minutes, showing Garner’s arrival on an army base are terribly slow; relationship is ploddingly established with wife Shirley Jones and teenage son C. Thomas Howell.
Pace finally picks up when Garner gets in trouble for bashing a deputy who had slapped around a prostitute in a bar. The action triggers outrage by the local sheriff, another signature role by G.D. Spradlin, who gets even with Garner by framing his son and sending the boy to a despicable work farm.