Once Upon A Texas Train

Once Upon a Texas Train (also called Texas Guns) was a 1988 TV movie with a stellar cast.  Chuck co-starred with Richard Widmark, Willie Nelson, Shaun Cassidy, Ken Curtis, Royal Dano, Jack Elam, Gene Evans, Kevin McCarthy, Dub Taylor, Stuart Whitman, Hank Worden, Harry Carey, Jr. and Angie Dickinson.


The movie tells the story of a notorious outlaw, John Henry, played by Willie Nelson who has just been released after 20 years in jail.  His first act as a free man is to gather his aging outlaw gang and hold up a bank for $20,000 in gold. This infuriates retired Texas Ranger, Captain Hayes played by Richard Widmark because he was the man who captured John Henry 20 years earlier and put him in jail.  So Captain Hayes gathers his retired Texas Rangers and sets out to re-capture John Henry. Chuck plays retired ranger Nash Crawford, a fast gun or used to be fast gun, who quickly joins his Captain in the chase for the unrepentant outlaw. Things soon get very complicated when a group of young outlaws take the older outlaws captive and demand the money from the robbery.

The romantic twist is that Captain Haye's wife (played by the beautiful Angie Dickinson) is also loved by John Henry.  She chose Hayes over the outlaw, but Hayes doesn't trust John Henry at all. It's a fun-filled movie with wonderful scenes of the aged and sometimes bumbling, but always loyal, Rangers and outlaws combining forces to overcome the younger outlaws.   Chuck got a chance to work with the actors who appeared with him so often on The Rifleman like Jack Elam and Royal Dano.