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Iron Mountain Trail (1953)

Passed | | Western | 8 May 1953 (USA)
Rex Allen and Slim Pickens are sent from Washington, D.C. to California in 1850 to speed up deliveries of mail to the goldfields, and find a destructive feud raging between two stage-line ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (story)
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Koko ...
Koko - Rex's Horse (as The Miracle Horse of the Movies)
Roger McCall
Nancy Sawyer
Mate Orrin
Sam Sawyer
The Marshal (as Alan Bridge)
Circuit Judge
John Brockway (as George H. Lloyd)


Rex Allen and Slim Pickens are sent from Washington, D.C. to California in 1850 to speed up deliveries of mail to the goldfields, and find a destructive feud raging between two stage-line owners, Sam Sawyer and John Brockway. In their attempts to have their stages and drivers first on the dock to get the mail brought East by ship, the two have damaged each other's equipment and schedules to the point that no consignment of mail reaches the goldfields intact or on time. The on-purpose carelessness of the crewmen of the McCall Shipping Line adds to the problem. Rex's proposal that Brockway institute an overland mail service along the Iron Mountian Trail to compete with the McCall ship, meets with vicious opposition from Roger McCall, who also knows that his attempts to sabotage the Brockway plan will be blamed on Sawyer and he engineers a stampede of the horse herd Brockway buys for his new service. Brockway catches McCall's henchmen setting fire to his barn and is murdered. McCall ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

8 May 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caminho do Terror  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

"Why you old cinder, you couldn't kill a dead fish with a cannon."
18 January 2006 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

I must say, "Iron Mountain Trail" is one of the better "B" Westerns coming out of Republic Pictures in the 1950's. It stars a spirited Rex Allen in a tale involving not two, but three competing factions for the rights to a U.S. postal contract between San Francisco and San Diego. The leading contender at the film's opening is the McCall Shipping Lines, using a sea route between the two cities, while the Brockway Stage Line has been feuding with the Sawyer Express Company on land. Allen's character is a government postal inspector, not exactly impartial, who attempts to find a quicker and safer route for the mail to travel.

A contest develops between the three companies, with the winner to receive a two hundred thousand dollar contract to deliver the mail. The obligatory bad guy in this piece is Roger McCall (Grant Withers), owner of the McCall Shipping Lines, who first attempts to disrupt his opposition by stampeding a herd of horses needed to make the long distance between cities. Allen and Brockway driver Slim Pickens manage to salvage twenty horses, more than enough to make the run, so McCall gets more deadly. Having the Brockway owner killed and pinning it on Sam Sawyer (Forrest Taylor), McCall positions his captain, Mate Orrin (Roy Barcroft) to win the race.

Smelling a rat, Rex Allen gets to work, enlisting the aid of Nancy Sawyer (Nan Leslie), while taking charge of a stagecoach riding the Iron Mountain Trail. With Pickens as his sidekick, the pair are unsuccessful as a bad guy posse herds the stage over a damaged bridge and into the drink. But it gets worse - Nancy's father is railroaded by a quick hanging judge, based on public demand for justice and to avert the threat of a mob.

Before it's all over, Rex and Slim (appearing under their own names) uncover a shady operation McCall uses to staff his ship; a crooked bartender slips unsuspecting cowboys a mickey and they wind up hijacked. Allen's too sharp though, and rides to the rescue just in time to prevent an innocent man from hanging and to win the mail contract for the good guys - whew!

Rex Allen was one of the few "B" movie cowboys to continue his career in TV. There were Roy, Gene and Hoppy of course, though Allen's character was Dr. Bill Baxter, "Frontier Doctor" for one season in 1958. As a medical practitioner, Allen didn't get to mix it up much with a six gun, and the stories were so laid back as to be almost boring. By contrast, his portrayal in "Iron Mountain Trail" is energetic, complemented by a no nonsense aim and shoot style with his firearm.

Virtually all the movie cowboys came co-billed with their horses. Roy Rogers' Trigger is the most well known as "The Smartest Horse in the Movies". By contrast, Allen's mount Koko was nicknamed "The Miracle Horse of the Movies". Unfortunately, he doesn't perform any in this flick, though he's mentioned once by name. On the other hand, Koko plays second fiddle to a sneaker wearing chimp named Marie in this one. Too bad Marie is owned by bad guy Barcroft, though she winds up on the right side of the law by film's end - you can't make a monkey out of justice, even in a "B" Western!

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