A young man, harshly sentenced for a few minor infractions, escapes from a prison in Huntsville Texas and flees to Laredo, Texas, where he hopes to cross into Mexico for a reunion with his wife and small son.
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Eddie Macon will do anything for and to be with his wife and young son, Chris and Bobby. It is for Bobby that they moved from Florida to Texas, one injustice after another which lands Eddie behind bars at Huntsville ultimately on a twenty year sentence. With Chris' help, Eddie plots to break out of prison, the plan to make his way on foot, traveling solely at night, to Laredo where he will cross the border into Mexico to meet Chris and Bobby, he and Chris figuring that he is not important enough for the Mexican authorities to bother sending him back if he is ever caught south of the border. While the good ol' boys within the Texas penal system send out the blood hounds to search for Eddie, Carl Marzack with the prisoner transfer office decides to search for Eddie on his own largely to settle an old score. While Marzack's colleagues' method is to chase, Marzack is more methodical, believing he just needs to follow the crumbs ultimately with Eddie showing himself in the process. There ...Written by
Passable entertainment which has improved with age
A fellow reviewer -- the one from Winnipeg -- has this one correctly pegged. It's a decent piece of entertainment and due to the decline in film standards, it probably plays better now than it did back in 1983. There are faults. Kirk Douglas seems too old for his part and Lee Purcell seems too young for hers, and the whole notion that Eddie Macon's escape-plan involves running on foot across country, sort of in a series of marathon races, never quite comes into focus. However, John Schneider makes a likable hero -- his appeal is augmented by several "beefcake" scenes -- and as has been mentioned elsewhere, the supporting cast is diverse, talented, and well-chosen. One aspect of the film has not been discussed. The cop's obsessive pursuit of Eddie Macon, reminiscent of "Les Miserables," raises questions. Considering all the criminals who must have caused him grief over the years, the cop seems curiously fixated on Eddie who, as felons go, is decidedly "small potatoes." Does the cop possibly lust after the young, handsome, and decidedly well-built Eddie, and does he then convert this "forbidden desire" into a rigorous drive to enforce the law? This might explain why the cop softens at the end of the chase, though the cop's apparent change of heart doesn't quite ring true no matter how you regard his motives. (One almost wishes for a dream sequence in which the cop gets to soap Eddie's back in the hotel bathroom's shower -- and what a commodious shower that hotel has!)
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