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The Deadly Trackers (1973)

A Sheriff, who negotiates with bank robbers, ends up getting his family killed during their escape. The Sheriff chases the gang into Mexico on his own. While attempting to exact his vengeance, he is at odds with a Mexican lawman.


, (uncredited)


(story "Riata"),

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Choo Choo
Paul Benjamin ...
Katharine Kilpatrick
Deputy Bill (as Bill Bryant)
Sean Marshall ...
Read Morgan ...
Deputy Bob
Joan Swift ...
Ray Moyer ...
Armando Acosta ...


Sheriff Sean Kilpatrick believes guns result in gun solutions to problems. Frank Brand is the leader of a band of bank robbers who have no problem with killing anyone in their way. When their paths cross Kilpatrick's attempt to negotiate results in the death of his family during the escape. Kilpatrick goes against everything he has stood for when he crosses into Mexico to chase Brand and his gang. He demonstrates some violent tendencies towards the criminals and anyone else he comes across in his hunt to kill the gang. His behavior is not very heroic. He is challenged by a Mexican Sheriff interested only in carrying out the law - not vengeance. Written by jimthemoviefreak@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sheriff fought for peace. Now he would kill for vengeance.


Western | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 December 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kill Brand  »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The score, credited to Fred Steiner, is actually re-used segments from Jerry Fielding's score to The Wild Bunch (1969). This was because the studio had already lost a lot of money on the project so to invest in a new score was a cost saving. See more »


With the final member of the gang, the killing is done with a shotgun. At no time in the movies did the sheriff have any gun other than a pistol or Winchester. See more »

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User Reviews

Simplistic chase western, with heaps of blood-spilling but little else.
25 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

After The Wild Bunch had pushed back a few boundaries in terms of violence, especially within the western genre, there followed a spate of similar westerns. Billy Two Hats, Chato's Land, The Hunting Party, The Revengers and The Last Hard Men were among the front-runners. Also on any list of brutal '70s revenge-westerns would be The Deadly Trackers, originally planned as a Samuel Fuller movie but completed by Barry Shear after Fuller quit the project. This violent, bloodthirsty film is, alas, somewhat disappointing.

Irish sheriff Sean Kilpatrick (Richard Harris) looks after the Texas town of Santa Rosa and has made a point of solving crimes and capturing criminals without resorting to violence. In fact, he has never in his life fired a gun in anger, yet has somehow fostered total law, order and respect among the townsfolk. His methods are tested to the limit when outlaw Frank Brand (Rod Taylor in a surprisingly sadistic performance) and his gang rob the local bank. During their escape attempt, the outlaws inadvertently kill Kilpatrick's own wife and child. Devastated, Kilpatrick ditches his anti-gun, anti-violence attitude and pursues Brand and his cronies. The chase leads to Mexico, where Kilpatrick has no official authority and is viewed as little more than an outlaw himself. The Irish sheriff tracks down and kills Brand's gang one-by-one, until just he and Brand remain.

Just a year earlier, Barry Shear had made the film Across 110th Street, regarded as the most violent movie ever made up to that point, so it's perhaps no surprise that this film emphasises the gore and brutality to the extent it does. Harris is quite memorable as the Irish sheriff, giving another of his energetic performances, and Taylor's villainous turn reveals an ugly side rarely portrayed by the actor in his other films. However, in most aspects The Deadly Trackers fails to make the grade as a good, worthwhile film. It is far too simplistic for its own good, with no resonance beyond the immediate plot (and the plot itself is pretty basic, being nothing more than a straightforward chase narrative). The supporting performances are generally rather lacklustre, possibly because none of the characters beyond the two principal players carry much depth or interest. Also, the story is dismayingly familiar, with precious little that it fresh or original; just lots of tired and predictable scenes that have been begged, borrowed and stolen from many other sources (even the music is lifted directly from The Wild Bunch.... perhaps to keep the budget down?) On the whole, The Deadly Trackers is a dismal misfire in which the detail to violence and the intriguing lead performances are the sole points of interest.

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