I've seen the movie many times, never read the book. I agree with you, AceHigh, about Ladd but I still love this movie. One of my all time sentimental favs (and I gererally hate sentimental shit). The thing I love most though is the cinematography. The mountain west has never looked better to me.
For those of you who hate Brandon De Wilde, don't miss him in his spaghetti western appearace in The Desterter!