The archetypical renegade Texas Ranger wages war against a drug kingpin with automatic weapons, his wits and martial arts after a gun battle leaves his partner dead. All of this inevitably culminates a martial arts showdown between the drug lord and the ranger, and involving the woman they both love.
Lone Wolf McQuade is a 1983 action film, starring Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Barbara Carrera, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, Leon Isaac Kennedy and Robert Beltran, and is directed by Steve Carver. The film score was written by Francesco De Masi and borrows heavily from Ennio Morricone’s score for Once Upon a Time in the West.
The screenplay features a quiver of characters: the “lone wolf” Ranger Jim McQuade (Chuck Norris), the bad guy (David Carradine) with the widow of his partner (Barbara Carrera) who falls for the hero at first sight, the retired buddy (L.Q. Jones), the captain trying to rein in the hero (R.G. Armstrong), the federal agent (Leon Isaac Kennedy) and the new young partner (Robert Beltran) the hero does not want.
About the Story
The main character, J.J. McQuade (Norris), is a former Marine and a Texas Ranger who prefers to work alone. He lives in an old trailer in the middle of nowhere with a pet wolf.
The film opens with McQuade involved in an intense battle with Mexican bandits and a gang of horse thieves from which he emerges unscathed (saving several Texas State Troopers). Shaking off the dust, McQuade returns to El Paso, Texas to attend the retirement ceremony of his fellow Ranger and close friend Dakota (L.Q. Jones). After the party, his commander attempts to curb his “lone wolf” attitude by insisting he work with local Texas State Trooper Kayo Ramos (Robert Beltran), a tough but clean-cut and polite Latino.
Although divorced, McQuade is on very good terms with his ex-wife, and loves his teenage daughter Sally. McQuade also seems to like Sally’s boyfriend Bobby, who is enlisted in the US Army and is respectful of McQuade being a retired Marine.
While out horseback riding with his daughter, his daughter’s horse runs wild and she is saved by Lola Richardson (Bakbara Carrera). She invites them to a party where Rawley Wilkes (David Carradine) displays his prowess in martial arts and some of his thugs get into a fight with Ramos. After settling the fight, Richardson and McQuade leave the party and apparently have a romantic encounter. She shows up at his house and cleans it. Despite McQuade’s annoyance that he does not need a woman to take care of him, Richardson seems to start breaking through his rough exterior within the couple of days they are together.
Meanwhile, Sally and Bobby witness the hijacking of a U.S. Army convoy. Bobby is shot and killed by the hijackers, who then cause Sally to be hospitalized when they shove her car into a ravine. McQuade more readily works with Kayo to find out who did this to his daughter and her boyfriend. Kayo’s computer skills allow him to track the errant convoy. At an illegal garment factory, they pick up a young delinquent named Snow (William Sanderson), who is reluctant to talk until Dakota points a Mac-10 in his general direction and empties the magazine.
Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
Directed by: Steve Carver
Starring: Chuck Norris, David Carradine, Barbara Carrera, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Robert Beltran, L.Q. Jones, Dana Kimmell, R.G. Armstrong, Sharon Farrell, William Sanderson
Screenplay by: B.J. Nelson
Production Design by: Norm Baron
Cinematography by: Roger Shearman
Film Editing by: Anthony Redman
Makeup Department: Linda Leiter Sharp, Robert Sidell
Set Decoration by: Robert L. Zilliox
Music by: Francesco De Masi
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: April 15, 1983