Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry) makes his directorial debut with this superb, action-packed western. Featuring a poignant, unconventional screenplay by A.B. Guthrie, Jr., and a powerful performance by legendary actor Walter Matthau in his first screen role, The Kentuckian is an unforgettable western adventure of the highest caliber. Big Eli Wakefield (Lancaster) and his youngson, Little Eli (Donald MacDonald), are rugged Kentucky adventurers who long for an exciting life on the Texas frontier. They soon learn, however, that the greatest challenge to their progress lies not in the uncharted wilderness but in the people they meet along the way. Thrust into the midst of abitter family feud, Eli confronts both the deadly rage of a madman (Matthau) and the love of a beautiful woman (Diana Lynn). But when he's lured into a brutal final showdown, Eli discovers that the only way to escape with his life is to stay true to his convictions, his honor and his dream.