(1970 TV Movie)

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6/10
Good standard western
NC Lyle (lyle-12)11 July 2006
John Gavin, while not exactly dynamic, does a good job with this story of a lawman going into Mexico to deal with Mexican bandits, an American outlaw and his brother, and in the process finding himself helping a young Mexican boy and his mother escape the grip of a local bully. Although apparently an idea for a Gunsmoke-like TV show, this is actually a remake of an actual "Gunsmoke" episode from the 14th season, broadcast on October 7, 1968, and called "Zavala." Even the young boy, Manuel Padilla, Jr., plays Paco, just as he does in the original "Gunsmoke." Cutter's Trail contains a slightly different ending, but the two stories are essentially the same, with the author, Paul Savage, and the director, Vincent McEveety repeating. Not a classic, but enjoyable, and, at times, pretty exciting.
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Decent Unsold Pilot
Terence Allen2 September 2004
Cutter's Trail is an unsold pilot seeking to continue the great tradition of CBS's Gunsmoke. But this didn't make the cut. Pretty standard stuff with John Gavin as a New Mexico marshal who is trying to protect innocent townspeople from a band of ruthless cutthroats. Victor French, a perennial Gunsmoke/western villain, does his usual yeoman job, and the rest of the cast is okay, including Manuel Padilla, Jr, famous for playing the jungle boy "Jai" in the Tarzan television series starring Ron Ely. You could easily do worse that to watch this film. It is better than some motion picture westerns that you will find on television.
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8/10
cutter's trail
jhrunion1 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have not seen "Cutter's Trail" since I was in about the third grade ('70-'71 school year). I can not logically rate it, but I will give it a high score because I enjoyed it so much back then. There is an episode of "Gunsmoke" that is very much like this movie. Also, just from what I remember, I'd say that the plot, like that episode of "Gunsmoke", bares a close resemblance to "The Magnifance Seven" and the finale to "Shane." This movie was all the talk for days in the classroom and on the playground when I was in the third grade. It seems like it was broadcast twice any way. Manuel Padilla, Jr. was a favorite of kids my age from his work on "Tarzan."
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I Want To Say it was Good
PartialMovieViewer30 July 2011
I think this was a good movie…I hope…I guess. In any case it was such a long time ago - I honestly don't know. I do remember being glued to the TV screen while I watched this movie and I know I enjoyed it at the time. Actually I cannot say for sure. What is sad is my judgment jaded by time. I can't say how many times I find that what I remember, is not always the same as what really was. Confused? I am. Anyways, I would like to see this movie again so I can make a clearer judgment. If I remember, correctly it was kind of a cross between, 'The Magniciant Seven' and 'Shane'. The action, if i remember correctly, was pretty good. There was some light humor and some pretty good western type shoot 'em ups.
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5/10
Predictable But Entertaining Made-for-TV Horse Opera
zardoz-1311 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Psycho" star John Gavin gives another wooden performance as a heroic lawman in "Last Day" director Vincent McEveety's predictable but entertaining "Cutter's Trail." Marshall Ben Cutter (John Gavin) sheds his badge to ride cross the border and arrest a sadistic outlaw, Alex Bowen (Victor French of "Charro"), who devastated the town of Santa Fe where he has an office. Bowen attacked Cutter's town because Cutter helped the cavalry capture his brother Kyle Bowen (Robert Random) for attacking a cavalry escort. Kyle is hanged by cavalry authorities for killing three soldiers during a robbery. Special guest star Joseph Cotton delivers the sentence of the court, and Kyle drops through the trap door. Before he dies, Kyle warns Cutter that his brother Alex will hound him to death. After Alex Bowen raids Santa Fe, he heads back to Mexico with his army of gunslingers. Cutter enters Mexico and befriends a young Mexican boy, Paco Avila (Manuel Padilla Jr., of "American Graffiti"), and his mother Angelita Avila (Marisa Pavan). The first thing that our clean-shaven hero does is kill the Mexican gunman, Santillo (Nehemiah Persoff of "The Comancheros"), in a duel. Afterward, Paco treats Cutter as if he were a messiah figure. Eventually, Cutter prepares a reception for Alex and his gunslingers that includes concealing dynamite in various places. When Bowen and his killers arrive in the little Mexican village, Cutter starts blasting away, blowing up some of Alex's gunmen. Bowen and Cutter shoot it out. Predictably, Bowen dies with one of Cutter's bullets in him. "Cutter's Trail" is a polished, splendidly lensed, and stalwart cast. John Gavin looks perfect for the role, and he wears his Stetson and his gun belt well enough to be convincing. Manuel Padilla Jr. plays a child along the same lines that Brandon De Wilde did in "Shane." Victor French isn't as sleazy as he was opposite Elvis Presley in "Charro." Beverly Garland is featured briefly at the beginning and the end; she operates a freight company in Santa Fe. Shug Fisher is her tireless worker. The ending is a little too good to be true. During the finale in the Mexican town, Paco's mother takes a bullet and dies. After Cutter has cleaned out the village of outlaws, he rides off with Paco in hot pursuit on foot, crying his name out until our hero turns around and takes him home. John Mantley, who produced the show, produced "Gunsmoke." Several veteran western actors pepper the cast, including Gregg Palmer, Roy Jenson, Pepe Callahan, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., J. Carrol Naish, and Mills Watson.
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