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.
A compilation of two episodes of "The Virginian" TV western series. Season 1 episode "It Tolls For Thee" (1962) guest star Lee Marvin, and season 6 episode "Reckoning" (1967) guest star Charles Bronson.
Charles S. Dubin,
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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
This film began its life as a Samuel Fuller novel called Riata. Fuller then put a lot of work into a screenplay version of the story, and after completing Tatort: Tote Taube in der Beethovenstraße (1973), he was lined up to shoot Riata in Spain. Shooting began, but just a short way in, Warner Brothers shut the movie down after seeing the dismal rushes featuring a French actress who couldn't act (and who was forced onto Fuller by the shady producer). The rights to the film were sold off, the film was entirely re-written and re-cast, with the exception of Richard Harris, and The Deadly Trackers (1973) is the finished result. See more »
Richard Harris uses both his left hand and right hand and switches his pistol and rifle around from right to left randomly. See more »
With a soundtrack lifted straight off "The Wild Bunch" and a premise from any number of superior films (not just westerns), "The Deadly Trackers" is nothing more than a shameless plagiarism. Solid cast is wasted in stereotypical roles, only Al Lettieri breaks the mould as a sympathetic policeman on the trail of Harris, a former lawman taking revenge on those who murdered his family.
Taylor is the key villain, sadistic and for all intents and purposes, effective in his role. His ragtag crew including Brand, Smith and Benjamin are less convincing, with Smith (a cult favourite) flexing his muscles for one bloody fist fight before a premature exit. The movie basically lurches from one bloody encounter to the next, as Harris exacts merciless revenge, in turn pursued by Lettieri intent on taking him alive in the name of justice.
The contrast from his pre-family massacre pacifist (to the extent that guns are prohibited in his town), to that of total maniac who bludgeons his victims to bloodied pulp, is aimed at conveying the message that even the most gentle soul can turn feral under the most intense desperation. Just in case you fail to pick up on that message, there's a plethora of fatal beatings and progressively more sadistic retaliations to underline the point, culminating in a face-off between Harris and Taylor at an orphanage where they compete for wildest animal honours.
It's been written that Harris threw a lot of weight in the making of this picture, and it does have the appearance of being a one-man-stand, built around Harris from every angle in every frame. If only some of that attention had been dedicated to the script and plot, the outcome could have been much more rewarding. As it is, "The Deadly Trackers" is a pointless orgy of violence, a less than impressive vehicle in which to showcase the least of Harris' acting range. Uninspiring.
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