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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:

THEY WERE SIX AND THEY FOUGHT LIKE SIX HUNDRED! (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

 
Interesting Western about a small regiment stranded in an abandoned fort and surrounded by avenger Apaches
12 October 2011 | by See all my reviews

The more desperate his fight on the desert's scorching sands , the more adored he was in her arms ¡ . Gregory Peck as captain Lance who gave Fort Invincible his name ¡ . Richard Lance (Peck) is a honorable cavalry officer to roust renegade troopers and a tribe of Indians Apaches . Cavalry captain is saddled not only problems with Native American but irritability among his own undisciplined troops . Lance is wrongfully framed by his girlfriend (Barbara Payton) and underlings of killing lieutenant Holloway (Gig Young) massacred along with a patrol by Indians . Richard Lance eventually puts the bridle on tight and struggles to win his soldiers respect while warding off violent Indians. Richard along with a group of soldiers have to defend a left fort surrounded by Indians until arrival reinforcements who are using a Gatling machine gun . The angry Apaches (led by Michael Ansara, usual in Indian roles) are out on a rampage of killing , seeking vengeance against the white intruders, and with the aim for eliminate them.

This is an acceptable , conventional tale with action galore about a hard-bitten officer who goes to hell and back while assembling a detail of misfit cavalrymen to hold-off rampaging Indians and later on regaining the respect of his soldiers and his sweetheart . Gregory Peck and a top-notch all-secondary-star-cast as Ward Bond, Steve Brodie , Warner Anderson , Neville Brand , Jeff Corey and Lon Chaney Jr as the Arab ; all of them shine in this gripping story about a surrounded garrison . Furthermore as protagonist girl appears Barbara Payton ( who acted in important films as Dallas, Drums in the deep South , Kiss Tomorrow) , she turned to be one of the saddest stories from dark chronicle Hollywood . Attractive blonde sexpot and her life eventually disintegrated,mostly by her own doings . She was the subject of a spread in Confidential Magazine in the early 1950s when then fiancé Franchot Tone allegedly caught in bed with Guy Madison . Tone later married her , despite the indiscretion, besides she had a tempestuous relationship with Tom Neal. But happened the downfall , her once enticing countenance now blotchy and once sensational figure now bloated,Barbara sank deeper into the bottle and had several brushes with law , among them public boozy , bad checks and ultimate prostitution . The 39 years former star was found on the bathroom floor.

Director takes a fine penned screenplay creating a cavalry-Indians tale that is far from ordinary , exploring the anguish of soldiers and including jarring burst of violence , however it packs a predictable ending . It's the habitual theme about an unit stranded by enemies and their grueling efforts to break the siege, issue imitated many other times . Gritty and passable written Western from Edmund H. North and Harry Brown , based on the novel by Charles Marquis Warren ,also Western filmmaker .The picture contains nice moments though partially unsatisfying and disappointing for the reason of the deeply claustrophobic environment . Well produced by William Cagney , James Cagney's brother , this Western is predictable and conventional but entertaining. Thrilling and stirring musical score by the classic Franz Waxman . Cinematography by Lionel Lindon enhances the dark tones especially on the besieged fort .

The motion picture is professionally directed by Gordon Douglas . He's an expert on adventures genre as ¨Black arrow¨ and ¨Fortunes of Captain Blood¨ , both starred by Louis Hayward ; but he's mainly specialist filmmaking Western , his first was ¨ Girl rush (1944)¨ and in the 40s directed ¨Doolins of Oklahoma¨ and ¨The Nevadan¨ for duo Harry Joe Brown-Randolph Scott . He went on directing Alan Ladd's (as Jim Bowie) vehicles as ¨Iron Mistress¨ and ¨The fiend who walked west¨ which resulted to be a Western rendition to ¨Kiss of death¨. In the 50s he proved his specialty on Western in the films starred by Clint Walker as ¨Fort Dobbs¨ ,¨Yellowstone Kelly¨, ¨Gold of seven Saints¨ and about legendary bandits as ¨Doolins of Oklahoma¨ and ¨Great Missouri raid¨ . After that , he filmed ¨Chuka(1967)¨ that bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Only the valiant¨ , the remake ¨Stagecoach (1966)¨ , ¨Rio Conchos¨ with Richard Boone and considered the best Western and finally ¨Barquero(1970)¨with Lee Van Cleef and realized in Spaghetti style.


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