In 1810, crushed by the advance of the Napoleonic forces, the Spanish army under General Larena retreats leaving behind a remarkable engine of war, a seven-ton, 42-foot cannon, broken at the bottom of a ravine. The French general Jouvet wants it, and so do the British, who send naval officer Anthony Trumbull to retrieve it. He enlists the manpower of the Spanish guerrillas, the peasant resistance force, to raise and repair the gun, but there is a price. Their leader Miguel plans to use it to retake the city of Avila, the French headquarters in Spain. After that, the Spanish will relinquish the gun to the British. Trumbull must accompany them as only he understands how to operate it.
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Avila is over six hundred miles away, across steep hills and rivers, in a countryside swarming with French soldiers. Dozens of men and mules strain to pull the gun. When it falls into deep mud crossing a river, thousands are needed to pull it free. Miguel goes into a crowded bullring in an French-controlled town and asks for the help of the people. They respond instantly; the gun has become a potent symbol of Spanish resistance. Along the way, the Spanish raid a French encampment for powder for the gun, and blow up a recently constructed bridge while the enemy are crossing.
Trumbull and Miguel are rivals for the love of the sultry Juana, and this adds to the tension between them. They argue constantly about how to proceed. Although Juana is grateful to Miguel and admires his patriotism, she falls in love with the stoic Englishman. She alone persuades him to stay in the face of Miguel's hostility, even after he is forced into a deadly knife fight. Meanwhile General Jouvet, frustrated in his efforts to find the gun, arranges a deadly ambush at a pass through which the gun must pass.
The review of this Movie prepared by Maureen Evans