Russ Tropp is the primary antagonist of the 1957 live action film, Untamed Youth
He was portrayed by the late John Russell.
In the mid 1950s, Tropp was an extremely prosperous and wealthy Texas rancher who had purchased a ranch from Judge Cecilia Steele. In 1957, Tropp began a relationship with her in order to manipulate her into furthering his desire for money and power over others, and the pair secretly married that year. The pair struck a deal where she give young offenders a choice of either going to jail or to work on Tropp's farm for 30 days. This gave Tropp a steady supply of young and cheap labor to pick cotton on his farm, allowing him to undercut other area farmers. It also gave him the opportunity to prey upon the young women who Steele would sentence to his farm.
Steele's son Bob Steele returned to town after being away. Tropp hired him to work on the farm and run a harvester. Bob soon fell in love with Jane - one of the young women who had been sentenced to work on the farm by his mother. Meanwhile, Jane's sister Penny was also sentenced to work on the farm. Penny approached Tropp to see if she could perform on his TV station, Tropp tried to take advantage of her but she wouldn't have it. Tropp unleashed his dogs on her but she was saved by Bob before they could kill her.
A short time later a young female offender known only as Baby collapsed while working on the farm. Bob rushed her to the hospital but it was too late, with Baby dying. The doctor found she had been five months pregnant at the time of her death.
When offenders working on the farm became ill from the food they were eating, Bob did some checking and found that Mr. Tropp was feeding the inmates dog food.
Bob soon confronted his mother with what she had discovered. She tried to stick up for her boyfriend at first but Bob was persistent in pressing his case. She brought Jane to the farm who had corroborated his story. Going back to the farm she found that Tropp was working with a Mexican coyote to bring 300 people over the border to work on his farm for next to nothing. Having had enough of being manipulated by Tropp Judge Steele pulled rank and ordered his arrest. She commuted the sentences of everyone on the farm to time already served.
Bob Steele was able to take back the family ranch after Tropp was arrested. Jane stayed with him and became his wife.