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Only the Valiant (1951)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 13 April 1951 (USA)
A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Richard Lance
...
Cathy Eversham
...
Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist
...
Lt. William Holloway
...
Trooper Kebussyan (as Lon Chaney)
...
Sgt. Ben Murdock
...
Joe Harmony
...
Trooper Rutledge
...
Trooper Onstot
Dan Riss ...
Lt. Jerry Winters
...
Trooper Saxton
...
Col. Drumm
Art Baker ...
Capt. Jennings
Hugh Sanders ...
Capt. Eversham
...
Tucsos
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Storyline

Capt. Richard Lance is unjustly held responsible, by his men and girlfriend, for an Indian massacre death of beloved Lt. Holloway. Holloway is killed while escorting a dangerous Indian chief to another fort's prison. The chief escapes. Knowing their fort is in danger of Indian attack, Lance takes a small group of army misfits to an abandoned nearby army fort to defend a mountain pass against the oncoming Indian assault. Their mission is to stall for time until reinforcements from another fort arrive. The men in this small group of malcontents, deserters, psychopaths and cowards all hate Capt. Lance and wish him dead. Much to their chagrin, the men recognize that Lance's survival instincts, military knowledge and leadership are the only chance the group has of staying alive. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

GREGORY PECK, AS CAPTAIN LANCE, WHO GAVE FORT INVINCIBLE ITS NAME! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fort Invincible  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck said this was his least favorite of all his movies. He regarded the film as a potboiler and a step backwards for his career after starring in The Gunfighter (1950). See more »

Goofs

When Cpl. Gilchrist tells Trooper Saxton to go get him a new pick, Saxton places his shovel against the stone wall and leaves, you can plainly see the shovel start to fall. The next shot shows Saxton (below) and Gilchrist (above), but no shovel on the ground. See more »

Connections

Referenced in That Most Important Thing: Love (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Brown Jug
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Winner
Played by a harmonica player in the barracks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rather grim view of honor, duty, conscience in the western cavalry
4 February 2002 | by (Front Royal, VA) – See all my reviews

This film, released in 1951, has the usual elements typical of the westerns released during the 50's; the cavalry needing to protect the territory from a murderous band of Indians, an officer determined to see that task through, and the men with him with various character flaws that he has to merge together into a cohesive unit. This small band must hold on to a fort located close to the Indian village until reinforcements arrive. The Indians know, all to well, that the small band is undermanned, and could be wiped out before the help comes. One major difference for this film, "Only the Valiant", is that it attempts to play out the usual storyline, but at the same time, deliver the message that duty is a paramount concern to be shared by all, even if they don't accept that charge.

Gregory Peck embodies the tight-lipped captain of the troop that has to prevent the Indians from breaking out into the territory. The troopers that he takes with him to the small outpost are the dregs of the troop at the fort; they, in turn, have gripes or weaknesses that cause them to wonder if the captain hasn't taken them out because of their general lack of devotion to a cause. Eventually, the captain and the small band confront the hostiles, and at the same time, each confronts his own flaw. The cast includes western stalwarts such as Ward Bond, Gig Young, Neville Brand, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Warner Anderson.

A sleeper of a film, and a good solid western for fans of this genre.


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