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A young Texas Man who saw his father get killed by a group of bandits, decides years later to go to work for the Pony Express. But he is not just working around the country to deliver mail, he is actually finding the bandits who murdered his father.Written by
Pony Express Rider is the story of vengeance quest by young Stewart Petersen who takes a job as a rider to get the man who shot down his father in cold blood. The only thing he knows is that his quarry is going west, so he'll take the mail west because it's in his general direction and Petersen gets paid besides.
Somebody tuning in on this film in the middle might have gotten a feeling that this was a Gunsmoke episode run totally amuck with mutiny in the marshal's office in Dodge City. Petersen's dad is Ken Curtis formerly Festus on Gunsmoke and the man he's seeking is Buck Taylor who was Matt Dillon's other deputy, Newly. Topping that all off is the director Robert Totten did many a Gunsmoke episode from television.
Taylor is the spoiled son of cattle baron Henry Wilcoxon who's just been appointed territorial governor of Nevada and after Taylor does the deed, he seeks refuge with his father.
Sad to say, here's where the plot gets a little dumb. For the life of me I can't understand why Ken Curtis wants to farm goats. He's leasing a small piece of Wilcoxon's land and Wilcoxon can toss him off any time he wants. Just that they go back aways is the only reason he hasn't up till now. I can't understand how Curtis got himself involved in such an arrangement or what his passion for goats was.
Also working here is the fact that Taylor does not think Petersen is fit company for his sister Maureen McCormick. And there's also a poorly developed secondary plot where some latent southern sympathizers have maneuvered Wilcoxon into that appointment in Nevada in order to grab off the west for the Confederacy to be.
Pony Express Rider would have been a lot better film if it had just stuck to the one plot line about revenge and not dragged a lot of extraneous elements into it. Makes for one big mess.
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