A Sheriff goes into Mexico in search of a man wanted back in the States. Finding him, he starts back. But it's a long way back, he has a reluctant captive, and there are unfriendly Indians along the way. The Sheriff admits his life has been a failure but this mission he plans to accomplish. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
"The Ride Back" is a very unusual movie. While William Conrad did appear in various films in the 1940s and 50s, he almost exclusively played bit parts--and mostly heavies (not joke intended). However, here in this film he plays the lead (although Anthony Quinn got top billing). This is because although Conrad was NOT a handsome leading man sort, his voice was golden---and he played Marshall Dillon on the radio version of "Gunsmoke". And, "The Ride Back" is one of the episodes of the radio series brought to the screen and Conrad produced this film.
The movie begins with Eddie Albert (yes, THAT Eddie Albert) singing the title song. It isn't really very good, but it is Albert! Sheriff Chris Hamish (Conrad) has entered Mexico with an extradition order for Bob Kallen (Quinn). Quinn is a wanted man and he's not about to come along quietly and repeatedly tries to escape. To make things worse (and a bit silly), Hamish knows almost no Spanish--a major problem in completing his task. Another problem is that Hamish isn't exactly as pragmatic as I'd be in this situation. If I was in Mexico and alone back in the days of the old west, I'd just shoot the prisoner (either to kill or maim) and bring him back that way. Oddly, he isn't that sort of guy--and that does effect the realism of the film. If you want to know what ultimately happens, see the movie.
I would say that "The Ride Back" is a mixed bag. The plot makes little sense (just shoot the guy!!) but the acting is quite nice. Quinn and Conrad both were quite good here--and made a mediocre plot better than it should have been.
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