It appears that this capital little film never made it to theaters, so we are spared professional disapprobation of its virtues.
It’s primarily a working-through of The Defiant Ones and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to make sense of it all. That’s the main structure, more or less visibly, and the peculiar keenness of it is overwhelmingly an expression of Bercovici’s uncommon skill. There’s nothing up his sleeve, everything is simple as can be, so he concentrates on filming and lets the movie take care of itself. The consequence is, for example, that a fine actor like Busey is exactly matched by the direction, like everything else.
The punchline is the very thing, as Busey returns from the wilds of South America with his prisoner after rigorous hardships, only to be met by his girl at the airport, who puts him in mind of other pursuits.