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El Paso crop duster Scott Svenson accidentally flies his plane into a shallow pipe hidden just below the dirt landing area across the Mexican border. The disturbed pipe causes a water tower to collapse. By chance he spots a friend, Frank Bryant, in a car with a woman.
Svenson then notices Bryant's face on a $50,000 reward poster. Since he must pay for the damage to the tower, Svenson offers to assist a local law enforcement official, Capt. Carbajal, in tracking down and capturing Bryant, whereupon they would split the reward.
A posse is formed that includes Sgt. Lopez and two other men, Joaquin and young Luis, who dreams of becoming a bullfighter. Bryant and the woman, Sylvia, are tracked down, but Lopez--learning of the reward shortly after Bryant's apprehension--now wants a percentage of the reward for his efforts. And as soon as Joaquin makes a decision to help Bryant and the woman escape, Lopez kills both Bryant and Joaquin.
Luis tries to round up the remaining posse's horses, but dies in the attempt. Carbajal then is stricken with malaria and turns seriously ill. There is little left to do for Svenson and the woman except try to get back to town safely on foot.
The film was made for $2,685,000.
According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $4,400,000 in rentals to break even and made $1,615,000, meaning it made a loss.
- "The Reward". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p254
- Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 324.
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