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Backtrack

Backtrack

Backtrack: 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?

100/100
1969 Watch
Marked Trails

Marked Trails

Marked Trails: Following completion of the Trail Blazers series, Bob Steele and Hoot Gibson were paired in three other Monogram westerns, with the only connection to the Trail Blazers series being Steele and Gibson in the cast and production and distribution by Monogram, with various Monogram people serving as production supervisors i.e., William Strobach on this entry and Victor Hammond on the other two. This one finds Jack Slade (Mauritz Hugo) and Mary Conway,alias Blanche (Veda Ann Borg), being recognized as known and wanted crooks by deputy marshal Harry Stevens (Steve Clark) and, when he orders them out of town, Slade kills him. His son, Bob Stevens (Bob Steele) and friend Parkford (Hoot Gibson) become U.S. Marshals and proceed to rid the town of the cut-throat gang that has been terrorizing the citizens. Bob goes undercover as an outlaw and works his way into the gang, while Hoot poses as a Dude who goes about making fiery speeches on behalf of law and order. The Gibson role here is limited in the action scenes to none, as he and his Monogram stunt double, Ben Corbett, were both getting a bit long in the tooth for such, and the nominal second lead was played by a relative newcomer to the screen, Ralph Lewis (II) as a good guy/bad guy outlaw, who is not the same as the older Ralph Lewis (I) who was making films in the 30s. Rule of thumb here for those who dont know what either one looks like is that any Ralph Lewis credit in the 1930s belongs to (I) and any occurring circa 1943-47 belongs to (II).

100/100
1944 Watch