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Western films, from silent to today

The Deadly Trackers (1973)

The Deadly Trackers (1973) poster Richard Harris is Sean Kirkpatrick, sheriff of the town of Santa Rosa, and a lawman who prefers to dispense justice without gunplay.

Heck, he won’t even buy his son a toy gun. And he’s designed a plan to protect his town against bandits with minimal gunfire.

It nearly works when a gang led by Frank Brand (Rod Taylor) tries to rob the town’s bank. But then Brand takes Kirkpatrick’s son as a hostage and kills both the boy and his mother as they flee for the Mexican border.

Suddenly, the peaceful outlaw turns into a blood-thirsty, vengeance-seeking renegade.

In his sights are Brand and the rest of his gang, including Choo Choo (Neville Brand), Schoolboy (William Smith) and Paul Benjamin (Jacob).

Review:

Richard Harris, star of a number of Westerns, is convincing as the lawman who turns executioner after the two people he loves most are killed in a bank robbery.

Unfortunately, over-the-top performances from Rod Taylor and Neville Brand keep this from being as successful a film as it should have been.

Taylor’s a vicious killer who will murder from ambush and watch his “friends” die without lifting a finger. But he’s desperate for a reunion with the daughter he hasn’t seen in three years.

Brand lost his hand in a train crash as a child — the same accident killed his father — and now has a piece of railroad tie attached to his arm that he uses as a weapon.

Al Lettieri plays the Mexican lawman who tries to how Harris the error of his ways.

If you can hang around to the end, director Shear will serve up several unique twists over the final 15 minutes.

Richard Harris as Sean Kirkpatrick with Brand's daughter in The Deadly Trackers (1973)Directed by:
Barry Shear

Cast:
Richard Harris … Sean Kirkpatrick
Rod Taylor … Frank Brand
Al Lettieri … Gutierrez
Neville Brand … Choo Choo
William Smith … Schoolboy
Paul Benjamin … Jacob
Pedro Armendariz Jr. … Herrero
Isela Vega … Maria
Kelly Jean Peters .. Katharine Kilpatrick
William Bryan … Deputy Bill
Sean Marshall … Keven Kilpatrick
Read Morgan … Deputy Bob

Runtime: 110 min.

aka:
Kill Brand

Neville Brand as Choo-Choo and Rod Taylor as Frank Brand in The Deadly Trackers (1973)Memorable lines:

Frank Brand: “Pretty town. Real pretty.”
Choo Choo: “Pretty town, your ass. It’s that pretty money we want.”

Young Kevin: “Why can’t I have a (toy) gun, daddy?”
Sean Kirkpatrick: “Because you can’t reason with a gun, Kevin. I know it’s hard for you to understand. If you have a gun, then another person must have a gun. And another. And another. And pretty soon everyone has to live with a gun. And that’s very, very bad. We must not allow guns to do our thinking for us.”

Gutierrez to Fitzpatrick: “You are a sheriff, senor. You know it is our job to catch such pigs. Not to execute them.”

Brand to Fitzpatrick: “You understand Mex? They’re saying they’re gonna hang you. I hope it hurts like a son of a bitch.”

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