Missouri Traveler was one of a handful of independent films distributed by Disney's Buena Vista corporation. Brandon De Wilde heads the cast as 15-year-old orphan boy Biarn Turner. Doing his best to survive in the rural South of the pre-WW1 years, Biarn is unofficially adopted by crusty small-town newspaper editor Doyle Magee (Gary Merrill). Also taking an interest in Biarn's future is wealthy self-made farmer Tobias Brown (Lee Marvin), whose apparently cruel treatment of the boy masks his genuine affection and concern. Highlights include an annual trotting race and a climactic set-to between Magee and Brown. The Missouri Traveller is based on the novel by John Burress.