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Old Overland Trail (1953)

Indian agent Rex Allen must protect local citizens and a tribe of volatile Native Americans from unscrupulous railroad contractors--including his own brother.


William Witney


Milton Raison




Complete credited cast:
Rex Allen ... Rex Allen
Koko ... Koko
Slim Pickens ... Slim Pickens
Roy Barcroft ... John Anchor
Virginia Hall Virginia Hall ... Mary Peterson
Gil Herman Gil Herman ... Jim Allen
Wade Crosby ... Draftsman
Leonard Nimoy ... Chief Black Hawk
Zon Murray ... Mack, Henchman
Harry Harvey ... Storekeeper
The Republic Rhythm Riders The Republic Rhythm Riders ... Musicians


Anchor is building a railroad and to get cheap labor he gets Black Hawk's Indians to attack and burn the incoming wagon train. This forces the settlers to work for Anchor and he pays them in devalued scrip. When Rex figures out Anchor's swindle, Anchor gets Black Hawk to capture him. When Anchor turns on Black Hawk and shoots him, Black Hawk gets a chance to repay a debt to Rex. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A NEW WILD WEST THRILLER...WITH THAT REX ALLEN BRAND OF ACTION! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Remake of The Apache Kid (1941) See more »


Cowboy's Dream of Heaven
Written by Jack Elliott
Sung by Rex Allen with The Republic Rhythm Riders
See more »

User Reviews

The Savage Mr. Spock
15 November 2006 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

"Old Overland Trail" (1953) is a spectacularly bad example of one of Republic's Bill Witney directed Rex Allen "trail"westerns. Witney made a series of "trail" westerns with Allen including "Iron Mountain Trail" and South Pacific Trail". His Roy Rogers westerns were called "old" westerns because that word was often in the title.

Rex (Rex Allen) is a Bureau of Indian Affairs investigator sent out to look into a sudden outbreak of Apache trouble. He traces the trouble to a railroad construction company. The company has subcontracted with the Indians to cause trouble in ways that will increase its profit on a government contract. Rex's brother Jim (Gil Herman) is part owner of the company and suspects that his partner is behind the Indian attacks.

Although very bad, 'Old Overland Trial" can be quite entertaining from a movie making and nostalgia perspective. Watch for Roy Barcroft, a bad guy here who would go on to play nice Mr. Logan, the owner of the Triple R Ranch on "Spin and Marty". Barcroft was also a semi- regular on "The Lone Ranger", playing the sheriff who regularly got to answer the question "who was that masked man?" at the end of each episode. Then there is a young Mr. Spock with long hair and regular ears (actually you can't tell) playing the bad Indian. And of course there is Slim Pickens who plays Allen's sidekick of the same name, arguably the best (and certainly the most talented) of all western sidekicks.

Other entertaining items are the abrupt scene changes, as harrowing sequences cut without transitions to Allen and the cast singing a pleasant western song. And you should watch for the extensive use of second unit and stock footage, all outdoor stuff shot wide so it is difficult to tell that none of the cast members are present. They were all back on the indoor sound stage shooting close-ups and medium shoots with outdoor paintings for background. The editor would then assemble this into a relatively logical sequence. Even a first time viewer eventually wonders why the film stock, lighting, and backgrounds keep changing within the same scene.

Finally there is yet another sequence of seemingly suicidal Indians riding around a circle of covered wagons.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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Release Date:

25 February 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Overland Trail Riders See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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