Finding Indians stealing from his ranch, Gene learns they are suffering from malnutrition. Store owner Martin is cheating them and now he is after the Chief's valuable necklace. When the dying chief is found, having been attacked and robbed, Martin blames Lakhona who would become the new chief. When Gene helps Lakhona they soon find themselves fleeing from the law. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Superior Autry, with lots of hard-riding, fast-shooting, and flying-fists, along with a good storyline not often seen in those days. The voice-over prologue actually explains why Indians were often hostile to the white settlers, something not often done, since their exotic looks served as useful movie canon fodder. Anyhow, the Indians are portrayed here as ordinary human beings, with a different culture but with the same needs. Then too, except for Lucy Broken Arm (Drake), real Indians are cast in leading parts, something else Hollywood did not often do.
Trouble is a slippery white merchant is cheating his red man customers, such that they're having to steal food, which brings rancher Gene into the picture. Catch the great staging around the rock spires and boulders. They make a great backdrop for shootouts, and I don't think that setting was the picturesque Alabama Hills so familiar from many Hollywood oaters. Anyway, the emphasis here is on action, a humane message, and a dollop of charm (the kids) making this an unusually well-rounded Autry entry.
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