Bearcats! (1971)
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Just before World War I, two adventurers are hired to bring back a hijacked train from Mexico.


Douglas Heyes


Douglas Heyes


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Taylor ... Hank Brackett
Dennis Cole ... Johnny Reach
Fernando Lamas ... Chucho Morales
John McIntire ... Cyrus Davenport
Michael Ansara ... Paco Morales
Tisha Sterling ... Beth Parkinson
Melodie Johnson ... Miss Baker
Reni Santoni ... Ricardo Sandoval
Luciana Paluzzi ... Juanita Sierra-Perez
Joe De Santis ... Col. Delgado
Jay Novello ... Pablo Sandoval
William D. Gordon William D. Gordon ... Fallon, Hotel Goon
James Brown ... Sheriff Lynch (as Jim L. Brown)
Roy Jenson ... Briggs
Todd Martin Todd Martin ... Muncie, Desk Clerk


A Mexican bandit is about to be executed in the United States. So his brother takes over a train and holds the passengers as hostages unless his brother is released. Now both the Americans and Mexicans are baffled as to what to do. But one of the passengers, who wrote the letter for their captor, has a suggestion; call Hank Brackett and Johnny Reech, two mercenaries. Which they do. And as expected they do come up with a plan but the President of the Railroad is not sure if it will work. Written by <>

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Release Date:

16 April 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Räjähtävä ruutitynnyri See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Made for television as the pilot for the series Bearcats! (1971) See more »


Major Bill Buckner: This message was addressed to you and two other men, Hank Brackett and Johnny Reach. Have you been in touch with them?
Mr. Davenport: They're not with this railroad. I don't know who they are or what they have to do with this.
Major Bill Buckner: Neither does Morales, but whoever wrote this letter for him - he knows who they are.
Mr. Davenport: And so do you apparently.
Major Bill Buckner: As a matter of fact, I do. I used to soldier with Brackett and I've heard a lot about his partner. Their names aren't here by accident. Between the lines, whoever wrote this ...
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Followed by Bearcats! (1971) See more »


Bearcats! Opening Theme
Written by Hal Hopper
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User Reviews

Unique train-oriented Western with Rod Taylor and several notables of the era
5 April 2018 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

RELEASED IN 1971 and written & directed by Douglas Heyes, "Powderkeg" chronicles events in 1914 when Mexican renegades led by Chucho Morales (Fernando Lamas) hijack a train for leverage to get his brother out of jail in New Mexico (Michael Ansara). Two adventurer-mercenaries (Rod Taylor and Dennis Cole) are enlisted to rescue the 73 passengers and take care of the banditos.

While this was a TV movie, it's pretty much as good as many theatrical Westerns of the late 60s/early 70s. The two stars, Taylor and Cole, have great chemistry and the tone is snappy with a distinctive story and a couple of unexpected twists. Luscious Luciana Paluzzi is on hand (playing a role in one of the surprises) along with Tisha Sterling and Melodie Johnson in the female department. Reviewers have overstated the action/thrills, but no worries because the drama is interesting.

"Powderkeg" was the pilot for the short-lived Bearcats TV series in '71, which consisted of this film and 13 episodes.

THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour 33 minutes and was shot at Old Tucson, Arizona, and surrounding areas.


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