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Elvis plays Jess Wade, who (in the year 1870) is tricked into an ambush set up by his unsuspecting former friend (played by Ina Balin). After riding into a Mexican border town, Jess finds himself surrounded by the guns of his former friends - a band of outlaws with whom he once rode before attempting to go straight. Jess is taken to the outlaws' mountain hideout, where they have stashed the famed Victory Gun - a gold and silver cannon that fired the victory shot against Maximillian, freeing the country. The leader of the outlaws is Vince (Victor French), who has produced a counterfeit "Wanted" poster declaring Jess Wade to be the thief of the weapon ... and offering a reward for him "Dead or Alive!"
Jess manages to escape and flee to the village of Rio Seco, which is on the U.S. side of the border. The sheriff of the town is an old friend of Jess's - and the man responsible for turning his life around. Sheriff Ramsey (James Almanzar) believes in Jess's innocence and does not display the poster. Later, when Vince's deranged brother comes into town and shoots Sheriff Ramsey, it is Jess who subdues the violent man and drags him to jail. The wounded sheriff deputizes Jess. Now that each side has what the other side wants: Vince's jailed brother versus the stolen cannon, the action intensifies. In a conclusion that includes the Mexican cavalry, the treasured cannon is returned and Jess's reputation restored.

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Victor French
"Vince"

Victor French was born in Santa Barbara, California, on December 4, 1934 - the son of a Hollywood stuntman. Victor's father instilled in his son a love for western legend and lore. Following in Dad's footsteps, French's first job was as a stuntman on the popular Gunsmoke television series. To further develop his talent, the young man attended Los Angeles Valley College and Cal State Los Angeles, where he took courses in theatre arts. Victor's hard work paid off as he gleaned roles on scores of television programs,such as 14 appearances on Gunsmoke( different characters each time!),Bonanza, and even The Beverly Hillbillies. It was on the set of Bonanza that he met his good friend Michael "Little Joe Cartwright" Landon. Their friendship was to prove a strong and lasting one that endured through two top-rated television series. While the burly, gruff-looking French almost always played the villain in his performances, it was Landon who turned him into the more loveable Isaiah Edwards in Little House on the Prairie. French maintained his role on Prairie from 1974 to 1977, at which time he departed and starred as Chief Roy Mobey in the sitcom Carter Country. French returned to the Little House from 1981 until 1984.... completing the series and its subsequent TV movies.

In 1984, Michael Landon cast French in his latest television series: Highway to Heaven. French portrayed ex-cop Michael Gordon, whose bitterness at the world was softened by the presence of a guardian angel (Landon). Not limited by now to "simply acting", French, already an experienced director, directed every third episode of the series.

In private life, Victor French had married Julie Cobb in the 1970s. They were the parents of Tracy, Kelly and Victor Jr. French was an avid boxer and was a part owner of a boxing club in North Hollywood. Tragically, he succombed to lung cancer in 1989, shortly after completing work on the final season of Highway to Heaven. He was 54.

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Ina Balin
"Tracy"



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