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Two brothers who are not the best friends because they were fighting on different sides during the Civil War have to cooperate in order to defend themselves against an attack of indians. Written by
Reagan is star top-billed in this Paramount oater from 1951. Non- big budget movie was a surprise big hit in 1951. It also stars Rhonda Fleming, a woman it was could not photograph badly from any angle, and it shows in this movie, though her role isn't major. She plays the girl. She wasn't exactly known for her acting chops. The plot has the makings for a great Western, two brothers take different sides in the civil war. Reagan is a Confederate while Benett is a Union officer. Also involved is a certain benevolent look at the Indians - in the fifties, one can easily see the changing tone of Hollywood's outlook on the Indians; from snarly wordless caricatures to humane three dimensional characters, mainly highlighted by the James Stewart movie, Broken Arrow. Dances with wolves, this is not but it tries, as it has a white man as the Apache chief, an ex military officer who turned Injun after marrying an Indian. He was ousted from the army for this. Also, to be noted, Reagan and Bennett don't have anything really negative to say about the Indians. They are just interested in their war and just want to keep the Indians from getting involved. It is the supporting characters who are portrayed bug-eyed yellow in their thinking of the red man as the colloquial connotations go. But a notorious third act finale bruises all the good will the earlier sessions had earned. In this act, Bennett and Reagan, that is Confederate and Union team up to slaughter the Indians in a battle that was superceded by the white man. You can argue for this scene, in a pseudo " man must survive" argument that states that even if I'm on the wrong, I shouldn't just stand by the chop me to pieces. Man must defend himself. But staging of the battle is certainly cliched and flimsy as the Indians ride straight into a gauntlet set up by the allies. Right smack into it as they are shot of their horses. And do they change strategy? No. They keep running into the awaiting bullets. It should be noted that earlier, Bennett notes they are outnumbered 50-1. How original? Good entertainment especially the first two-thirds that focuses on Regan's derring-do.
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