Ten Days to Tulara


1h 16m 1958
Ten Days to Tulara

Brief Synopsis

A charter pilot in Mexico is forced to help a criminal gang when his son is kidnapped.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Adventure
Crime
Release Date
Nov 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
George Sherman Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
Mexico and United States
Location
Mexico City,Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Film Length
6,893ft

Synopsis

In the desert of a small Central American country, American bush pilot Scotty McBride is abducted by a henchman of gang leader Cesar. Having recently escaped from prison, Cesar demands that Scotty fly him to the ancient seaside city of Tulara where he will meet a fishing boat to take him out of the country. Although Scotty has been on friendly terms with Cesar for many years, he refuses his request, until Cesar reveals that he has kidnapped Scotty's young son, who is being held onboard the fishing boat. Cesar tells Scotty that if he does not meet the boat either by sunset the next day or on its next scheduled return in ten days, Scotty's son will die. That afternoon Cesar and his men, among them his brother Carlos, Francisco and Piranha, board Scotty's plane. Soon after takeoff, Cesar informs Scotty that they must stop at the small mining town of El Tambo. To Scotty's astonishment, upon landing at the barren El Tambo strip, Cesar and the others rob the mining company office, steal eight bars of gold and return to the plane under fire from the guards. Although Scotty guides the plane into a clean takeoff, the co-pilot and others are killed by gunshots from the ground. As the plane gains altitude, Scotty realizes that the gas tanks have been punctured and orders the surviving men to parachute out. On the ground, Cesar reminds Scotty that he has ten days to get him safely to Tulara in order to save his son. Francisco scouts the small village nearby and learns that Cesar has been linked with the gold robbery and that the military police are searching for the group. As the village is in the middle of a festival, the men don costumes in order to pass through the streets unnoticed. When the group steals a car, however, the police are alerted and Carlos and Scotty are both wounded during their escape. After the police chase the men several miles, Cesar succeeds in losing them, then abandons the car near another town. There he meets his daughter Teresa, who has been awaiting Carlos and Cesar's arrival. Soon after, Carlos dies of his wounds, and Teresa insists on accompanying Cesar. Cesar warns Scotty not to tell the convent educated, law-abiding Teresa about the kidnapping of Scotty's son. After walking to the next village, Cesar decides they should continue on to Pazco, where he believes he can get help from his former cellmate Dario. While Teresa nurses Scotty's arm wound, she tells him that her father turned to crime only after her mother died because Cesar was too poor to pay for the services of a doctor. Teresa admits that although Cesar's crime sprees have paid for her education, her identity as a criminal's daughter was repeatedly discovered, forcing her to move constantly. The next day, the group arrives in Pazco and while the others go ahead to contact Dario, Cesar and Scotty hide in the town cemetery. When Dario arrives with his gang, he demands all of the gold in exchange for a truck, but moments later is surprised by the arrival of the armed Francisco, Piranha and Teresa. Cesar wants to execute Dario and his men for betraying him, but Scotty intervenes, using Teresa's presence to force Cesar to reconsider. Cesar's group then flees in Dario's truck, where Scotty reveals to Teresa that Cesar has kidnapped his son. At a rest stop, Cesar notices Scotty's attentiveness to Teresa and when he warns his daughter that Scotty has a notorious reputation with women, the men come to blows. Later, still angry over the confrontation, Cesar recklessly stalls the truck in a shallow stream. Spotting a military police jeep nearby, Scotty tells Teresa to ask for help in freeing the truck while the men hide. An officer orders soldiers to assist Teresa and soon the truck is pushed free. The next morning when the group is faced with a military road block, Scotty orders Teresa to intentionally bump the truck against a bus which has just passed the inspection. While the M.P.s question Teresa about the slight mishap, Cesar, Scotty and the others disguise themselves as locals and sneak onto the bus. Remembering Teresa from the previous day at the stream, the officer in charge notes the truck's license plate number. A short time after the bus and Teresa's truck clear the road block, Dario and his gang drive through in pursuit of them. Meanwhile, the officer reports to his commander that the truck is licensed to Dario, and that he suspects that the girl driving it may be Cesar's daughter. When Cesar and the others camp overnight, Scotty confesses his feelings to Teresa, who is unsure how to respond. The next morning the group is ambushed by Dario and Francisco is killed. When Teresa is slightly wounded, Cesar begs for a temporary truce to allow his daughter passage to the next town for help. Dario agrees, only to capture Teresa, forcing Cesar to surrender. Since their car has been damaged in the fighting, Dario and his group plan to catch the local bus to escape. When the bus draws near, however, Scotty grabs a knife hidden in his sock and attacks Dario. Cesar and Piranha then commandeer the bus and drive off with Scotty and Teresa. As they near a town, Scotty demands that Cesar let Teresa go to seek medical aid and he agrees. The three men drive into the desert towards Tulara and when the bus runs out of gas, they walk, unaware that Dario has repaired the truck and is pursuing them. After the two groups confront each other in the desert, Dario and his men are killed in the ensuing gunfight. Cesar and Scotty reach Tulara only to be greeted at the shore by the military police, who have been informed of the rendezvous by Teresa. When Cesar frantically attempts to escape, he is shot and killed. The naval patrol overtakes the fishing boat and soon after, Scotty is reunited with his son.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Action
Adventure
Crime
Release Date
Nov 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
George Sherman Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
Mexico and United States
Location
Mexico City,Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 16m
Film Length
6,893ft

Articles

Ten Days To Tulara


The Mexican countryside is the real star of this suspense thriller from Western veteran George Sherman. Sterling Hayden stars as an American pilot forced to help a crew of gold thieves when they kidnap his son. Because he's piloting the getaway plane, the police are after him as well as the bandits. When gunfire causes a fuel leak, the crew has to parachute into the jungle, where Hayden still has to help them reach the Pacific within ten days or his son will be killed. Sherman created his own production company to pick up the rights to Laurence E. Mascott's script. Originally, the story had been slated for a 1955 production in Peru with Gordon MacRae starring in glorious Technicolor. By the time Sherman came on board, the budget had been downgraded, so the film had to be shot in black and white and in Mexico. That's hardly a problem, though, with Alex Phillips' crisp photography showcasing the local sights. Hayden only came on board because he needed the money for child-support payments and couldn't work in the states without being picked up for tax evasion. He wouldn't make another feature for six years, when he came back as General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove (1964).

Producer: George Sherman
Director: George Sherman
Screenplay: Laurence E. Mascott
Cinematography: Alex Phillips
Music: Lan Adomian
Film Editing: Carlos Savage
Cast: Sterling Hayden (Scotty), Grace Raynor (Teresa), Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. (Cesar), Carlos Muzquiz (Dario), Tony Carvajal (Francisco), Juan Garcia (Piranha), Rafael Alcayde (Mexican colonel), Felix Gonzalez (Marco), Jose Pulido (Mexican captain), Major M. Badager (Luis, co-pilot), Milton Bernstein (Mexican lieutenant), Barry Grail (Mexican doctor), Paco Arenas (Chris).
BW-77m.

By Frank Miller
Ten Days To Tulara

Ten Days To Tulara

The Mexican countryside is the real star of this suspense thriller from Western veteran George Sherman. Sterling Hayden stars as an American pilot forced to help a crew of gold thieves when they kidnap his son. Because he's piloting the getaway plane, the police are after him as well as the bandits. When gunfire causes a fuel leak, the crew has to parachute into the jungle, where Hayden still has to help them reach the Pacific within ten days or his son will be killed. Sherman created his own production company to pick up the rights to Laurence E. Mascott's script. Originally, the story had been slated for a 1955 production in Peru with Gordon MacRae starring in glorious Technicolor. By the time Sherman came on board, the budget had been downgraded, so the film had to be shot in black and white and in Mexico. That's hardly a problem, though, with Alex Phillips' crisp photography showcasing the local sights. Hayden only came on board because he needed the money for child-support payments and couldn't work in the states without being picked up for tax evasion. He wouldn't make another feature for six years, when he came back as General Jack D. Ripper in Dr. Strangelove (1964). Producer: George Sherman Director: George Sherman Screenplay: Laurence E. Mascott Cinematography: Alex Phillips Music: Lan Adomian Film Editing: Carlos Savage Cast: Sterling Hayden (Scotty), Grace Raynor (Teresa), Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. (Cesar), Carlos Muzquiz (Dario), Tony Carvajal (Francisco), Juan Garcia (Piranha), Rafael Alcayde (Mexican colonel), Felix Gonzalez (Marco), Jose Pulido (Mexican captain), Major M. Badager (Luis, co-pilot), Milton Bernstein (Mexican lieutenant), Barry Grail (Mexican doctor), Paco Arenas (Chris). BW-77m. By Frank Miller

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

A 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item indicates that producer Richard Wilson had initially purchased Laurence Mascott's original screenplay which was to be filmed in color on location in Peru and star Gordon MacRae. The film was the only feature film appearance of Broadway and television actress Grace Raynor. Ten Days to Tulara was filmed on location in Mexico and at the Estudios Churubusco in Mexico City.