After serving a five year prison sentence for allowing his men to destroy a town in a drunken spree, a trail boss is hired by the same town's leading citizen to drive their cattle to Fort ... See full summary »
Captain Hunt of the cavalry is trying to promote good relations with the Indian chief Acoma. But Hunt's superiors in the military insist on pursuing policies that will provoke a conflict, and Chief Acoma is not willing to let himself be insulted. Written by
"New Mexico" is a fair cavalry-versus-Indians movie that could have been better. It has a good cast and provides a couple good moments, but a routine script and a rather stereotyped set of characters keep it from realizing its potential.
Lew Ayres, a fine actor, has the lead role of the cavalry's Captain Hunt, and the rest of a good cast is highlighted by Andy Devine, Raymond Burr, Marilyn Maxwell, and Ted De Corsia. Unfortunately, most of their characters are not given much depth, and they do not have much dialogue to work with either.
The lack of depth of Captain Hunt is the most important, as the other characters are primarily defined in terms of their relationship with him. At the beginning, he seems to be developing as an interesting character. He is present at a meeting between President Lincoln and Chief Acoma (De Corsia), and seems to be sympathetic with the problems that Acoma's people face after Lincoln's untimely death, even defying for a while his insensitive and boorish military superiors. But when the inevitable conflict breaks out, Ayres is just given some stereotyped lines about how the Indians ought not to resort to violence. Likewise, Acoma, as the leader of the uprising, is a thoroughly conventional character, although at least portrayed with some degree of sympathy.
There are some decent action sequences, and a couple of creative touches in the battle scenes, but it is likely that "New Mexico" will be of interest mainly to those who enjoy any and all Westerns.
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