Following the enormous success of Easy Rider, Universal gave Peter Fonda $1 million and carte blanche to direct this hypnotic art-house Western. He stars as a nomadic cowboy who, with his loyal companion (Oates) in tow, embarks on a journey back to the wife (Verna Bloom) and child he abandoned six years earlier—but it turns out to be far from the joyous homecoming he envisioned. The gorgeous cinematography is by legendary DP Vilmos Zsigmond (McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Deliverance), whose subtly psychedelic, abstract landscapes lend the film an almost mystic dimension.