You can’t really beat the original of any movie,it gives birth to something new and anything after can only be classed as a decent modern copy.
The key to this movie is the performance of Robert Mitchum,I found myself comparing him against De Niro throughout as its one of De Niro’s finest appearances.
Mitchum plays the role to perfection,I think playing a bad guy can become a bit of a cliché in some movies but Mitchum really stands alone in this,he has no life behind his eyes and I am sure if someone checked for a heartbeat they would have struggled to find one,his performance alone is fuelled by pure evil and revenge; he walks at a slow pace throughout which is only matched my his dialogue which is creepy and always delivered with unusual slow pitch.
Funny mention:Telly Savalas has hair in this movie!
If we are comparing then Nick Nolte wins hands down with his battle against Gregory Peck,at times Peck seems like he has learnt his lines but has failed to show any emotion to match.
The only thing that lets this movie down is the Charlie Chaplin like stunts and $1 dollar effects department,considering this was made in 1962 I think they can be forgiven.