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The Road to Fort Alamo (1964) - Plot Summary Poster

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Summaries

  • A lone rider comes across a dying soldier, who gives him a paper authorizing the payment of $150,000 to the U.S. Army. The rider gathers some colleagues who disguise themselves as soldiers and who take the paper to a bank.

  • A lone rider comes across a dying soldier, the victim of an Indian attack, who gives him a paper authorizing the payment of $150,000 to the U.S. Army. The rider gathers some colleagues who disguise themselves as soldiers and who take the paper to a bank. They get the money but a shoot-out occurs, an old woman is killed, and the gang acrimoniously splits up. Later some members of the gang meet up with some real U.S. Cavalry soldiers and together they must fight off new Indian attacks.


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Synopsis

  • The Wild West, 1864. Bud (Ken Clark) is a drifter riding though sparse terrain, only to discover a carriage of murdered Union soldiers. Stopping to survey the damage, he notices that one of the men is still alive. The soldier dies before he can explain what happened, but Bud notices that he is clutching a satchel in his fingers. Upon opening the satchel, Bud finds a requisition form for $150,000. He then rides into a nearby town to report his discovery.

    Upon his arrival in Wagon City, Bud arrives at the police station where he is told that the sheriff is taking a siesta and cannot be disturbed. While waiting in the nearby saloon, Bud observes a car game being played between a wealthy, well-dressed man named Mr. Silver (Gerard Herter), and a young gunslinger named Slim (Alberto Cevenini). Bud notices that Mr. Silver is cheating, and confronts him. A bar fight ensues between the crooked Mr. Silver and Bud. At this point, the sheriff arrives. But since Bud is a stranger in town who is raising an accusation against a "well respected citizen" like Mr. Silver, the pompous and easily fooled sheriff ignores Bud and tries to arrest him. However, Bud manages to escape from the saloon and rides out of town with his new side-kick, Slim.

    Bud and Slim hide out in the nearby desert, and their friendship strengthens as they reveal more about themselves. Bud explains that he refused to take sides during the war, and when he left his Kentucky ranch for a brief period, he returned to find his family slaughtered and his house burned to the ground by unknown assailants. In compensation for this, the U.S. government gave him a worthless promissory note. Bud now wonders aimlessly, looking for an opportunity to make some money so he can rebuild his ranch. Slim explains that he knows an outlaw named Carson (Michel Lemoine), who might be of some financial help. In a meeting between Bud and Carson, Bud is wisely suspicious of him, but his anxiousness to re-build his ranch causes him to ally himself with the dubious man. Remembering the murdered Union soldiers, Bud tells Carson and his men about his find and together they pilfer the uniforms and pretend to be Union soldiers.

    Taking the requisition form with them, Bud, Slim, Carson and his men ride into Wagon City where they go to the bank and pressure the teller into handing them the $150,000. The plan nearly works, but Carson's impatience results in him drawing a gun on the teller, and killing him in cold blood, as well as several innocent bystanders at the bank. The men flee back to the cave, which is Carson's hideout, with the stolen money. Now aware that they are all wanted outlaws, Bud suggests that it would be best if they divide the loot and all of them go their separate ways. But instead, the greedy Carson knocks Bud and Slim unconscious, leaving them behind while he and his men ride off with all the ill-gotten cash for themselves.

    Left for death on a rural country road, But and Slim are discovered by a passing troop of Union soldiers. As they are still dressed in blue Union outfits, they are accepted as soldiers by the autocratic and slow-witted commanding officer Captain Howard (Antonio Gradoli). However, the wily Sergeant Carter (Gustave De Nardo) is not so easily fooled, and immediately senses that Bud and Slim are not who they claim to be. But Howard refuses to let Carter make any background check on the men and keeps him in check. Carters suspicions are confirmed when he slyly forces Bud to admit that he attended military school in Annapolis, Maryland which is actually a Naval academy. But Carter is astute enough to realize that Bud and Slim are decent people, so he treats them with dignity and respect while deciding what to do about them.

    Bud and Slim plan to escape from their Union companions when they reach Fort Alamo, where their subterfuge will surely be discovered. But, Bud decides to stay for a while when he realizes that the Ozark Indians have targeted the convoy they are in. Bud explains to Slim that innocent women and children are among the Union convoy and he could not live with himself if they were senselessly slaughtered. Slim reluctantly agrees to stay out of loyalty to Bud. A little later, Bud and Slim are joined by Carson, who is the sole survivor of an Indian attack, and who is still in possession of most of the stolen money. Because Carson is still wearing his stolen Union uniform, Bud is able to convince Captain Howard that Carson is a member of his own troop.

    Soon after, Captain Howard puts the entire convoy in danger when he insists on passing thought an Ozark cemetery. Sergeant Carter does his best to explain that passing though such territory will incite the Indians. But Captain Howard takes offence at being questioned, and blithely kicks aside the religious paraphernalia. True to Carters expectations, the troops soon find themselves in an all-out war with the Indians.

    Meanwhile, a romance blossoms between Bud and Janet (Jany Clair), a young woman who is being transported to jail at Fort Alamo for killing an officer who assaulted her. She tells Bud that her major crime is that she is desirable in a world dominated by brutally amoral males. This is emphasized when she is attacked and nearly raped by Carson, who is put under arrest by Sergeant Carter. Under guard, Carson makes an appeal to Bud to help him escape so they can split the money between them if they abandon the others. But, Bud is not interested in Carson's ploy knowing the amoral outlaw will kill him out of greed to have all the money for himself.

    As the soldiers prepare for a massive Indian attack, the Ozarks bait a very clever trap. Having stolen some of the money from Carson's dead men, which is useless to them, the Indians float the notes down a nearby stream. The greedy troops react as expected, running into the open to fish the money out of the water, and many are killed. With dwindling numbers, Bud recognizes that their situation is hopeless as it stands, so he puts his life on the line by leaving the convoy and seeking help. Leaving the stolen money in Carter's care, Bud mounts a horse and leaves into the dark of night.

    The next morning, the Indians attack. Taking advantage of the ensuing chaos, Carson clubs Sergeant Carter over the head and steals the money. Slim attempts to stop Carson, but gets shot dead. Shortly afterwards, Bud arrives with a fresh detail of Union solders from Fort Alamo. Faced with such strong opposition, the Indians retreat. Bud finds Slim's dead body and learns from Sergeant Carter that Carson was responsible. Bud catches up to Carson and a fistfight ensues. Carson seems to get the upper hand, but gets shot dead by Janet, and is reunited with Bud.

    Bud hands the stolen money back to Sergeant Carter, who thanks them for helping the US Army retrieve the money, and he lets both of them go. Bud and Janet ride off together to make a fresh start for themselves. But Janet states out that their problems are not necessarily resolved for he is broke once again. Bud optimistically states: "well get the money. Nice, clean money."

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