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A young frontier scout helps guide a freight wagon train across the country, fighting off Indians and evil traders, while his two crusty companions try and save him from falling in love. Written by
Rick Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although this film was re-released theatrically under its original title, it was re-titled 'Blazing Arrows' when it was sold to television, most likely to protect the theatrical re-release which was still in progress in many territories. One of its earliest television broadcasts occurred 12 September 1953 in Seattle on KING-TV (Channel 5); in Albuquerque, it was chosen to be the first program broadcast on the newly launched KOOL-KOY (Channel 10) Saturday 24 October 1953; in Detroit it was was first telecast Friday 16 October 1953 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in New York Monday 1 February 1954 on KCBS (Channel 2) and in Los Angeles Saturday 4 July 1954 on KNBH (Channel 4). In San Francisco, it hit the airwaves Wednesday 22 June 1955 on KPIX (Channel 5). See more »
Opening card: "In the days of the Civil War, the hard-won frontier country west of the Mississippi needed supplies. There were no railroads. Shipping had been tied up by the war. The burden of Transportation was taken up by trains of freight wagons - - Fighting Caravans banded together for the dangerous trip to California." See more »
During the Civil War, FIGHTING CARAVANS of freight wagons make their way West, crossing hostile Indian country.
This sturdy Zane Grey Western, largely forgotten over the decades, offers some fine entertainment with its good performances and vivid location filming. The number of wagons, livestock and extras used show that Paramount Studios paid out a fair few pennies for decent production values. The dramatic struggles across the wilderness and a rousing Indian attack help punch up the action considerably.
Laconic Gary Cooper stars as the trail guide helping to lead the teamsters and settlers through dangerous territory. Hot-tempered Lili Damita plays a solitary French maiden driving her wagon West. Their intermittent romance is completely predictable, but the two young performers make it all very watchable.
Stealing their every scene are a pair of old pros from the Silent days: Ernest Torrence & Tully Marshall. Playing a couple of grizzled, drunken, women-hating trail guides--as well as Coop's best buddies--they are very amusing in their attempts to break-up the budding romance between their protégé and the troubling Miss Damita.
Rotund Eugene Palette is on hand as a lovelorn member of the wagon train. Charles Winninger enlivens the film's opening minutes as the blustery Marshal of Independence, Missouri.
Movie mavens will recognize sweet Jane Darwell as a pioneer and Iron Eyes Cody as a Fort Indian in search of firewater, both uncredited.
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