johnlink ranks TEN DAYS TO TULARA (1958)

Sometimes there is nothing better than catching an old B movie. Sometimes, there are MANY things better than catching an old B movie? Which category does TEN DAYS TO TULARA fall into?


I watched TEN DAYS TO TULARA (1958) on 6.24.14. It was my first viewing of the film.

TEN DAYS TO TULARA is a film which stars Sterling Hayden as pilot Scotty. He doesn’t much fly in this movie, though. Instead, he is used by fugitive Cesar (Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.) to get him across the Mexican mainland to the Pacific. Cesar has kidnapped Scotty’s son, and promises to reunite them as long as Cesar himself safely makes it to the tuna boat awaiting him in ten days.

Much gets in the way. Some bad dudes, led by Cesar’s former cellmate Dario (Carlos Muzquiz), are eager to get some gold off of them. The police are after them as well. Along the way they pick up Cesar’s daughter Teresa (Grace Raynor), who falls for Scotty (of course).

What this movie is, then, is 77 minutes of chase. Only, for a chase movie, very little happens of note. There are seemingly endless shots of cars driving at a normal pace, people walking in the sun, or planes flying in a standard way. Some movies pack their short run times with action, others pad it with inane b-roll. TEN DAYS TO TULARA is the latter.

Hayden is fine (even if he seems bored much of the time), and Hoyos (a Mexican star) is pretty good. Noone else stands out, and the dialogue is of no help whatsoever. There are terrible scenes of exposition and worse scenes of less-than-subtle character development.┬áMoments like Teresa complaining that she is an ‘old maid’ of 21 years who has no hope for a man. It’s a wonder Scotty falls for her until you remember that there needed to be some kind of romance in low-rate 50s flicks.

The shootouts are silly and appear to be taking place at a distance of ten to fifteen feet. The moments of near capture are mostly redundant, and the fresh ones (like boarding a bus which has already been checked by police) are shot with an alarming lack of suspense or tension.

This was shot on location in Mexico. It looks nice at times, and it manages to create a few moments of tension. But, sadly, there are plenty of better places to go for a quick jolt of western-thriller B-movie entertainment.




FINAL SCORE: 3.5 out of 10

~ by johnlink00 on June 24, 2014.

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