Self-absorbed Dr. Lee Johnson enlists with the Army medical corps during World War II, more out of a feeling that it's "the thing to do" rather than deep-seated patriotism. On his first day... See full summary »
In the 1830's beaver trapper Flint Mitchell and other white men hunt and trap in the then unnamed territories of Montana and Idaho. Flint marries a Blackfoot woman as a way to gain entrance into her people's rich lands, but finds she means more to him than a ticket to good beaver habitat. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the original version of the finished film was submitted to MGM executives, they didn't like it. The film went through heavy editing, and a producer had the idea of tying together the surviving pieces by adding voice-over narration from Mitchell's grown up son, as if he is telling his father's life story. Howard Keel, who had just finished making Show Boat (1951), was brought in for this purpose. The changes led to director William A. Wellman effectively disowning the film. When asked about it in an interview, he said "I've not seen it, and I never will." See more »
Early in the movie when Kamiah is talking to Flint about trading horses for a wife, there is an automobile seen in the lower left hand corner driving along a road in the background far away. Obviously this movie took place long before cars were invented. See more »
My father told me that for the first time, he saw these Indians as he had never seen them before - as people with homes and traditions and ways of their own. Suddenly they were no longer savages. They were people who laughed and loved and dreamed.
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Respectable effort to portray the life of the mountain man in the opening of the West.
This film does a good job of portraying the story of the mountain men who trapped beaver in the Rocky Mountains and played a significant role in winning the West. Clark Gable is the star of this film. He plays a trapper who falls in love with a Blackfoot maiden (Maria Elena Marquez). He buys her from a Nez Perce chief hoping to use her to get into the good graces of her grandfather, a Blackfoot leader. Ultimately, he falls in love with her.
The romance between Gable and Marquez is the real story of this film. It is much more believable than the relationship between James Stewart and Debra Paget in "Broken Arrow". In the first place, the two of them can't talk to each other. Gable needs an interpreter to talk to his wife. The relationship compares to the forced marriage between Robert Redford and a Flathead girl in "Jeremiah Johnson". Gable's affection for his Blackfoot wife is obvious throughout the film.
The film paints a much kinder picture of Native American life than many Westerns. Like Dewey Martin's character in "The Big Sky" Gable returns in the end to the Blackfeet. He has learned to value Indian life and wants to raise his son with her mother's people.
The film portrays the real life capture of fur trapper John Colter by the Blackfeet. Captured by a young chief named Iron Shirt Gable must run for his life. The film should have taken more time with this exciting scene. It is far too short and not nearly as exciting as it should have been. I enjoyed Henry Fonda's run for his life in "Drums Along the Mohawk", but it was very poorly done here. Colter's successful escape from his Blackfeet captors deserves a better rendering.
This film is worth watching for the beautiful high mountain scenery and the romance between Gable and Marques. The soundtrack is not particularly original, giving us constant variation on the old standard "Shenandoah", but it is pleasant listening. Enjoy it.
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