Trackdown (1976) Poster

(1976)

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10/10
a forgotten action classic.
Serpent-518 September 1999
United Artist seems to have ignored this 1976 classic for it's not even on video! Karen Lamm runs away from her Montana home to go to the city and gets raped by mexican gang and sold to a high class beverly Hills pimp Johnny Dee (well played by Vince Cannon). Jim Mitchum plays her brother who goes to Los Angeles looking for her with a help from Cathy Lee Crosby and Erik Estarda. Great finale, Good action, like a suspenseful action sequence on the roof of and in the elevator at Johnny dee's building, to the finale, which involves a high speed car vs a rifle (which also had some "distance" bloopers)! Great cast (with early performance as Ray Sharkey), and Hollywood later sort of remade it with "THE COWBOY WAY" with Woody Harreson 14 years later. Intresting note is Ivan Nagy is credit was "story by", when he is the director that was boyfriend of Heidi Fleiss in real life.

I think the film is not on video because of musical copyright problem (Kenny Rogers sings the end credit song). The Late Vince Cannon could've been good villian actor, it's too bad he never did much films. The film was re-released by the producers (not United Artist) in 1980 with Estadra on the cover holding a knife with Cathy Lee Crosby also on the poster. The new poster said something like "He's a killer, He's lover, and only Cathy Lee Crosby can tame him". False advertisement, but the film is worth a good release back then as it still stood up to the action films of 1980. And it is still a great exciting action film with a important message!
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7/10
Dated action film that is still fun
buttonwillow30 December 2005
This movie is now available on DVD though Warner Home Video. It's a good action movie that makes up in creativity and strong performances what it lacks in budget. There is an action sequence involving an elevator shaft that is particularly good. It was made in the 1970s and really feels like that era in terms of styles, settings, and attitudes. I thought the weakest part of the film was the beginning. We're told the teenage girl is not getting along with her mother but we never see any conflict or even see the mother, then there is a long shot of Jim Mitchum herding horses before he arrives in LA to track her down. It all seemed rather clumsy. When Jim gets to LA, the story finds a groove that plays out at a good pace with a nice mix of action and character development. All of the actors do a nice job. Jim Mitchum and Erik Estrada play well off of each other. It's too bad they didn't make another movie together. It's great to see the always beautiful, always classy Ann Archer in an early role.
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8/10
Trackdown.....It's worth tracking Down to see!
angelsunchained10 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie as a sneak preview at the Shores Theater in Miami Shores, Florida. It's a "B" film sure, but it's surprising well-acted, brutally realistic, and extremely well-acted.

In a nut-shell, an attractive blonde (played by the late Karen Lamm)leaves her country home to go to the big city and meets me a tragic ending. She is forced to become a call-girl and then is savagely beaten to death by a trick. The killer is never caught or brought to justice ala Death Wish I. Even Anne Archer in a fine early supporting role is killed off in a "surprise". Jim Mitchum shines in his best role. Seems if he had been cast in similar roles he may have gone on to have become another Clint Eastwood. And Cathy Lee Crosby and Erik Estrada, both in their youthful prime, give solid performances. You should "trackdown" Trackdown and see it. 8 out of 10.
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6/10
"I'm a person. Not a hero".
lost-in-limbo30 November 2013
It might paint itself as a rough and tumble, by-the-numbers 70s revenge thriller and for most part it's typically generic in its story's progression, but there are some strong themes and capable performances by its cast led by Jim Mitchum and Cathy Lee Crosby. There's a brutal and downbeat side to some scenarios, but never does it becomes overly exploitative despite its angle on forced prostitution and underground violence. The bad guys are scum… truly scum. Where the seedy backdrop of Los Angeles breeds crime and those people take advantage of young naïve runaways looking to hit it big in LA. Some sequences do pack a punch and the script, while not entirely rounded does do enough to evoke some emotional pull when it comes to the overall payback.

Sixteen year old Betsy Calhoun flees from her Montana ranch heading to Los Angeles, but her dreams soon become a nightmare when she's kidnapped and sold to a prostitution ring. Her older brother Jim heads to Los Angeles to find her, but finds little help until he meets a social worker and a former gang member who knew of his sister's kidnapping.

Jim Mitchum in the lead role is stolid, but fitting with a more psychical performance told through his facials and in doing so making it more effective. You do feel his pain. He shares good chemistry with a head strong Crosby. Half of the film focuses on his search, while the other follows that of Karen Lamm's wholesome turn as Betsy. Watching how she becomes a prostitute, to how she copes with it and the touching relationship she forms with Anne Archer's prostitute character. Some moments do have a disturbing edge. Not unexpected, but they're powerful because there's enough time invested in these characters. So the story moves between different plot arches before all coming together and offering a surprise or so.

The film looks bare-bones and on the cheap, but it remains authentic with its on shot locations and gritty action exchanges. Nothing about the direction really ignites itself, but there are set-pieces that craft out an exciting barrage of vicious violence. Like the intense gunfire jousting involving moving lifts was a nice touch. Its plain look might have that made for TV feel, but it doesn't hurt it. At times it can be slow and talky, but its steady handling keeps to its strengths and never over delivers on the old-hat set-up.

"You know. You're breaking my chops".
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6/10
Aside From Home Alone And Taken,Rambo Last Blood Also Took It From Trackdown
Desertman8421 September 2019
Well,I just saw the tweet from First Blood author,David Morrell. He stated that he was disappointed with "Rambo:The Last Blood" as it was practically based on movie plot and he named specifically this movie that stars James Mitchum,the son of Robert Mitchum, together with Karen Lamm,Erik Estrada, and Lee Ann Crosby. The Rambo author considered it a exploitation film where Sylvester Stallone took the idea for the plot of "The Last Blood". Is Morrell accurate in his assessment?

Well,"Trackdown" tells the story of rancher's sister (Rambo had his surrogate daughter) from Montana (Rambo had his ranch in Arizona) who ran away to live an exciting life in Los Angeles (Rambo's daughter ran away to Mexico to locate his true father). Too bad that the rancher's sister got abducted and was sold into sex slavery by a gang. (Rambo's daughter got kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel that is to be sold for sex slavery). When the rancher asked the help of the police but won't provide assistance,he took the law into his own hands to save his sister. As expected,the same thing happened in "Last Blood" as Rambo immediately took the law into his own hands to save his daughter. And obviously,the movie is cliched and predictable.

No question that this movie was released back in 1976 and has long been forgotten ever since. It was a B movie and it was definitely outdated by today's standards. When I reviewed the final film of Rambo,I stated that it could be the poorest film of the franchise. But after viewing "Trackdown",it only made its case stronger as definitely being the poorest film of the franchise due to its poor and unoriginal screenplay that was taken from many films such as Home Alone, Taken and Trackdown.

Indeed,Morrell was correct in his assessment. No wonder he felt bad because of it.
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10/10
The sister to one of the characters is forced to become a prostitute, after leaving her country home and her brother is forced to try and track her down.
belltask3 May 2005
I want this movie so bad. This was the best movie that I have ever seen and I've seen a lot of good movies. I saw it for the first time while my husband and I were stationed in Germany, the same year it came out. I've never seen it again. Not even as a classic on TV. Can't buy it on VHS or DVD, and believe me, I've been trying to track this movie down for over 25 years. I tried to order it recently, but it was not the same movie, different characters, different plot, but the same title. The performance of Anne Archer, Erik Estrada, not to mention James Mitchem was magnificent. I fell in love with Anne Archer, not only was she classy as prostitute, she befriended the young girl, and tried to help her as much as she could. My sister saw this movie in 1999 on TV, while visiting Aurora, CO. It was on the Turner Classics Network I believe.

Please find this movie. A movie this good should have been put on video immediately.
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8/10
Next of Kin Classic
teepee-99 November 2000
Back when I was in school and my classmates were "Stayin' Alive" or tripping through "A Galaxy Far, Far Away", I preferred to take my best girl to some very good movies - Trackdown is one of these movies. James Mitchum is as good as any. Though the plot is a little thin, Mitchum's on-screen presence continued to bring the story together to it's inevitable conclusion. Guys, rent it - you'll be glad you did!
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7/10
Good entertainment.
Hey_Sweden22 December 2013
Robert Mitchums' eldest son James shows off that trademark Mitchum cool in this mostly routinely written but capably directed little B movie. Whatever it may lack in nuance it makes up for with a pretty solid fun factor. There *is* one sequence that does stand out, and that's a climactic bit of action involving elevators. Otherwise, this is reasonably engaging stuff, written by Paul F. Edwards (based on a story by Ivan Nagy), and directed by Richard T. Heffron ("Futureworld").

Mitchum is good in a low key portrayal of Montana rancher Jim Calhoun, who travels to L.A. in search of his kid sister Betsy (lovely and appealing Karen Lamm ("The Unseen")), who's run away. Soon after she arrived in the city, some lowlifes took advantage of her, and she gets mixed up in a world of prostitution and drugs. At first, Jim is forced to deal with one useless person after another who either can't or won't help. But he does get assistance from Chucho (Erik Estrada), who was one of the young punks that targeted her, but experienced a change of heart. And social worker Lynn (Cathy Lee Crosby) also helps out.

One good thing about "Trackdown" is that it does move forward quite well, maintaining viewer interest consistently. It's got fine cinematography (by Gene Polito) and a nice music score (by Charles Bernstein) going for it. A decent supporting cast also helps matters; young and beautiful Anne Archer is delightful as Barbara, a call girl who shows sympathy towards Betsy, and Vince Cannon is appropriately scummy as nasty mafioso Johnny Dee. The late, great Ray Sharkey plays the small role of Flash and Tony Burton ("Assault on Precinct 13" '76, the "Rocky" series) can be seen as a transvestite.

The character of Jim is worth rooting for, and the story leads towards a final confrontation that packs a good visceral punch. Fans of the action genre will likely see this as an effective diversion.

Seven out of 10.
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8/10
Tracking this one down is a downer
To the reviewer who mentioned she had been searching for it for 25 years, my heartfelt sympathies. I indeed know the feeling. Seven year search to find it on DVD. No luck.

I saw it, as a kid, on a Friday night in a theater during the late Seventies. The next night I was back in my seat to see it again. My parents wanted to know why I was going to see the movie again. I just said it was that good, I had to. I couldn't get enough of Karen Lamm. I hated the nasty villains, and as I became a dabbler in the art of writing fiction for my own pleasure, much of my inspiration comes from TRACKDOWN. Of course, in this movie, the young lady doesn't get rescued. I well remember the nightmarish scene, how that guy took off his belt, how she tried to get to the door...

But decades have past, and I cannot really submit a decent review. I suppose by today's standards it might look lame on DVD. But I'm begging for a copy of my own. Just now here on IMDb saw the bit by the reviewer stating that there is a release by Warner on DVD, and I will get Takealot on this case again.

So, if anybody out there is checking out the worthiness of this one as a movie on cable tonight, or as a video to rent, I only wish I could have been as lucky...

I can still hear the words of the trailer. Jim Mitchum, a one-man posse, on the trackdown... There are lots of older movies available on DVD. Why not this one?

ADDENDUM, 22 May 2014. After submitting my review, I went into searching mode again, and once more became lucky just after an IMDb visit. Are you guys my lucky charm or what? Anyway, I have this item on order now, and will, all going well, review it more properly in the near future. Not soon, as I prolong the excitement by setting it up for screening on a far-off date. But I do now at least have a hope.

My ordered set is a 4 movie special featuring what sounds like a bunch of junk in the worst degree, with TRACKDOWN included. Well, no other option was available for me. Anybody else looking for it, go to Amazon.com and simply select TRACKDOWN.

15 June 2014 :) I've seen a truly horrible movie tonight, really, really weak, why it even exists is beyond me, really it is yuck, a buncha barf in a leaking barf bag would be more fun. It was promoted as Scorchy, but was actually Race with Death. why am I all happy then? Cause the reason why I own this junk is because it's part of the quadruple bill featuring TRACKDOWN, and after a ruined evening, I took a sneak peak at the main attraction that I've only seen twice almost 37 years ago... And by just viewing the bit at the beginning I can see I've got something to look forward to. Scheduled for sometime during the next year. Proper review to follow. But, really people, those other three movies on the Action Packed Movie Marathon Vol. 2. Utter dreck!

Do buy it though if you're after TRACKDOWN! :)

17 July 2014. After experiencing trouble with my Region-free Philips DVD player which I am unable to replace as Philips don't bring their units into this country anymore, I watched this movie while I still can.

Lots of things were far different from the way I remembered it. But the movie is every bit watchable. It might be old, but it has stood the test of time remarkably well. Jim Mitchum appears unlikely to be a Hollywood lead actor, but in those action scenes. Wow, just like Chucho felt, you gotta have this guy on your side! Karen Lamm, I am dismayed to have learned she is no longer with us, but thank you, you were an excellent Betsy Calhoun. The street thugs were so real I shudder to think they were cast off the street, reality imitating art...

Oddly enough, the meanest character gets away with the worst crime, and the script allows him to. If you like to beat up little girls like Betsy, you are lower than pond scum. You need a ladder to look a snail in the eyes. This bastard should have been in that car in the end scene.

Recommended viewing. And I stand by my original estimation, eight stars.
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7/10
Not a bad, worthwhile drama, of tracking down status
videorama-759-85939119 July 2015
Trackdown is another of those well made flicks of the Seventies. The film, though dry in parts, pulls you in with a story, with not such a happy ending, tragic and shocking. The film with it's good intentions, does turn nasty, yet is violently effective, one could say. It's not what you foresee in the early part of this film, especially if judging it, against the country song in the opening. The scenario here has been done, many times, but the nasty turn of incident here, ups the film's merit. We have a bored, young and beautiful girl, (Karen Lamm, who in real life, died quite young, I believe) who's 'spose to be 17. She sets out for Hollywood, leaving her farm and Mumsie behind, who we never see, where we apparently learn from the small informing dialogue, things aren't quite particularly great between the two. Big ox of a brother (Jim Mitcham- Yes Robert's son) returns and sets out to save her. Lamm quickly ends up in a slick sex slavery operation as a high priced call girl, run by a notorious older pimp, Johnny D, who fronts a topless dancer and entertainment agency. An older woman, also in the rackets, and is obviously doing Jonhny D (a younger Ann Archer, at her sexiest) befriends her, while stubborn and determined Mitchum, kicks down doors, and causes a ruckus, trying to find Sis, almost passing her in one scene. What are the chances? He teams up with a young hustler (Chip's Erik Estrada) who was bedding her, while also working with a pretty social worker (Cathy Lee Crosby) who tells the stubborn headed Mitchum, in a heated moment, "The kids run away, cause the parents are such idiots". Mitchum, who's never really been to Hollywood before, as we can gather, later tells Crosby "I've been a hunter all my life. A hunter survives on instinct, and right now my instinct's telling me, it's not good". He couldn't be more right. Sadly, the last thirty minutes of Trackdown is the strongest, starting with that one brutal scene in the bedroom, and in how Mitchum and company use their smarts to gain revenge. Mitchum's character, a man with a plan, you do root for, but too you can't help get angry at him, to how he's ended up in this position, as you don't believe for two secs, he wants to take a step back, and think how this could of been prevented. In this secret context, Mitchum's character is used as an illustration. We need to focus on the problem, for every runaway, so we can prevent kids taking off, with some not so happy fates ensuing. Trackdown isn't the best movie of this kind, but it's a well worth insight into how these sort of things go down, and how the these scumbags operate in a not half bad movie, considering it's era. Trying to Trackdown Trackdown on VHS, etc, well all I can say, is, I wish the best of luck. See what little of Mitchum's face muscles move, or is it, a play down on his character. You decide.
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6/10
We feel Trackdown is worth tracking down.
tarbosh2200023 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Jim Calhoun (Mitchum) is a Montana cattle rancher who doesn't take any guff. When his sister Betsy (Lamm) decides to follow in the footsteps of so many that came before her and moves to L.A. seeking fame and fortune, tragedy befalls her. The wide-eyed and innocent Betsy falls afoul of an evil gang and is forced into prostitution. A guy named Chucho (Estrada) falls for Betsy, and while initially associated with the gang, severs ties when Betsy goes missing. Soon Jim Calhoun is in the big city, a big, burly fish out of water, also searching for his beloved sister. Joining the search party is social worker Lynn (Crosby). But super-evil baddie Johnny Dee (Cannon) is going to make life especially hard for the well-meaning trio, who, despite all their social differences, have banded together to save Betsy from a life of squalor. Will Calhoun and his friends succeed in their TRACKDOWN? Trackdown is a quality example of the "disgruntled man searching for his wife/sister/daughter" movie exemplified by the likes of Hardcore (1979), Broken Angel (1988), and, most recently, Taken (2008). While there are other examples, Trackdown predates the aforementioned three titles, and, as you might expect, is dripping with 70's style. Thank goodness for movies like Trackdown, which show L.A. back in the day in all its gritty glory. While the surface is loaded with rotary phones, wide ties, and bellbottoms, the underlying message seems to be that the city is filled with harsh realities and uncaring people, and scavengers will take advantage of you if you don't have a support system of people who care.

One of those people happens to be Erik Estrada. His youthful energy pours through in this early role, and he has some stylish shirts and a killer van to boot. He even takes Betsy to a very interesting dance club with a live band at one point. Director Heffron was going for realism for the most part, which pays off today in the sense of it being a fascinating time capsule. But the true rewards of this realistic approach is that there is no treacly sentimentalism or preachy messages, just Jim Mitchum with a shotgun dispensing Montana justice. Now that's a trackdown we can get behind.

It's hard to pick a favorite Mitchum: Jim, Chris or Robert. Each time we think we have a fave, along comes a Code Name: Zebra (1987) or a mega-winner like the awesome Final Score (1986). But for the purposes of today's review, Jim is in the driver's seat, and we couldn't be happier. Jim Calhoun brings a dose of reality to those L.A. airheads, in the form of some good beat-em-ups and an extremely well-directed action setpiece in an elevator shaft. While Cathy Lee Crosby and Anne Archer provide nice cast additions, Mitchum makes you root for Calhoun. Featuring the end credits song "Runaway Girl" by none other than Kenny Rogers, we feel Trackdown is worth tracking down.
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8/10
Neat little 70's Grade B action thriller
Woodyanders17 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Rugged Montana rancher Jim Calhoun (an earnest and effective performance by Jim Mitchum) searches the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles for his naive 17-years-old runaway sister Betsy (the comely and appealing Karen Lamm), who has become entangled in a dangerous world of drugs, vice, and prostitution. Director Richard T. Heffron, working from a taut and involving script by Paul Edwards, relates the gripping story at a brisk pace, makes excellent use of authentically gritty urban locations (sleazy bars and clubs, grimy back alleys, Hollywood Boulevard in all its grungy neon glory), maintains a tough seamy tone throughout, and stages a couple of last reel action set pieces with real skill and verve (a sequence involving two elevators is both original and very exciting). Moreover, this film warrants extra points not only for the way it vividly captures the coldness and harshness of the big bad city, but also for having the courage to pull off a genuinely shocking and unexpected downbeat plot twist about two thirds of the way into the narrative. The fine acting by the able cast rates as another substantial asset: Erik Estrada as smooth, yet decent small-time hustler Chucho, Anne Archer as shrewd and classy madame Barbara, Cathy Lee Crosby as helpful and sympathetic social worker Lynn Strong, Vince Cannon as ruthless crime boss Johnny Dee, John Kerry as the cynical Sgt. Miller, and Ray Sharkey as slimy pimp Flash. Tony Burton pops up in a memorable minor part as a would-be mugger transvestite. Gene Polito's sharp cinematography gives this picture a pleasing vibrant look. Charles Bernstein's funky grinding score hits the get-down groovy spot. Recommended viewing for fans of hard-hitting 70's drive-in action fare.
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