Backtrack


1h 35m 1969

Brief Synopsis

Trampas, a cowhand from Medicine Bow, Wyoming, is sent to Mexico to buy a bull for his employer. The ranch foreman warns him to watch out for himself in Laredo, a tough town on the Texas/Mexican border. Despite the warning, in a western version of the Dumas classic, "The Three Musketeers", Trampas manages to get himself engaged to fight three separate Texas Rangers within an hour of his arrival. Unlike D'Artagnan, he has no notion of actually fighting the Rangers: all he wants is out of Laredo. He's on his way out of town when he runs into the three Rangers--who turn out to be partners--on their way to track down a missing train carrying a payroll. The Rangers, learning Trampas is headed in the same direction they are, suggest they all ride together--that way, they can fight him after they have fulfilled their mission. Without much choice, Trampas wryly agrees. When they find the train, however, they quickly forget their quarrels--the train was robbed and everyone aboard killed, except for one infant covered by his mother's body. Concerned the baby won't survive long without care, they proceed across the Rio Grande to the nearest town, where they know of a cantina owner with innumerable children. They get the baby to Mama Dolores, but not without run-ins with Mexican Urales and marauding Yaquis. Somewhere along the way, the Rangers begin to suspect it was the Yaquis who robbed the train--but Yaquis don't rob trains and they have no use for money...and where did they get those fancy new rifles?

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York showing: 26 May 1969
Production Company
MCA-TV
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Forced to leave a Western town for gambling with loaded dice, a young maverick cowboy named Trampas makes his way to the Shiloh Ranch and asks the ramrod for a job. Happy to oblige, the ramrod sends Trampas on his first cattle drive and then assigns him to join three other cowhands in transporting a prize bull from a Mexican village back to the Shiloh Ranch. During a return stopover in Laredo, Trampas becomes enamored of Carmelita Flanagan, a saloon owner who is also being eyed by three Texas Rangers, Chad, Reese, and Riley. The rivalry over Carmelita leads to a series of brawls that ends only when Ranger boss Captain Parmalee sends his three men to hunt down a gang of bandits at the Mexican border. With Trampas tagging along, the Rangers happen upon a train that has been robbed. Discovering that an infant is the only survivor, the men stop for milk at a cantina owned by Mama Delores, a fiery widow who has long been trying to get Reese to marry her. During their stay Yaqui Indians attack the village, and a trainman's uniform is found on one of the dead Indians. Certain that the Yaquis robbed the train, the four men investigate Captain Estrada, an officer in the Mexican patrol who secretly has been supplying the Indians with guns. Discovering a new shipment of firearms, the Rangers and Trampas stuff the muzzles with lead before being captured by the Yaquis. They then persuade Captain Estrada to execute them by firing squad and watch with enormous satisfaction as the rifles explode in the faces of the firing squad. Afterwards, Estrada is stabbed by the Indians for selling them faulty guns, and the Rangers and Trampas escape. The adventure over, Trampas bids farewell to the Rangers, smiles goodby to Carmelita, and heads back to Shiloh with the prize bull.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York showing: 26 May 1969
Production Company
MCA-TV
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Quotes

Trivia

This movie is composed of the first episode of "Virginian, The" (1962) and a snippet of the "Laredo" (1965) episode "Three's Company".

Notes

Made from excerpts from "Laredo" and "The Virginian," including We've Lost a Train, an episode from "The Virginian" telecast on NBC April 21, 1965 (c18 April 1965; LP32266).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer May 26, 1969

Originally an episode from the television series "The Virginian" entitled "We've Lost a Train." Also contains additional footage from the series "Laredo."

Released in United States Summer May 26, 1969