6.6/10
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23 user 21 critic

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

According to a biography Gregory Peck himself authorized, during filming he had an affair with Barbara Payton. See more »

Goofs

During the the last gun fight, Gilchrist takes an arrow in the right shoulder and falls. The next scene shows the Captain helping Gilchrist, but now the arrow is in his left shoulder. And in the next scene the wound is in the right shoulder again. 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

 
If you want to know why I selected you?
2 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Capt. Richard Lance is a wronged man, he's being held responsible for the death of a much loved Lieutenant. When the chance arises for him to take a small band of men to the vanquished Fort Invincible, Lance readily takes up the challenge. Picking the men who despise him the most, and the ones he feels have major character flaws, Lance and the handful of soldiers must hold the fort from Apache attack until reinforcements arrive. Running out of water and at war with each other, it's becoming increasingly likely that this is a suicide mission from which none of them may return.

Some people say this is one of Gregory Peck's lesser efforts, that it be low on production values and stilted in its execution. Not so say I, in fact this to me is a far more engaging picture than the much revered Rio Bravo eight years later. Oh for sure the Howard Hawks film is far technically superior, but I'd argue that for cast efforts and sheer entertainment value Only The Valiant wins out in the duel every time. Gregory Peck, Ward Bond, Gig Young, Lon Chaney Jr, Neville Brand & Warner Anderson each contribute greatly to make this a dramatic and involving picture. It simmers along as a highly charged character piece as we have a group of men deeply in mistrust of each other, yet interestingly they are binded by a mutual dislike of their Captain. One special sequence sees Lance {Peck at his straight laced best} assassinate each soldier's character; one is a bully, another a deserter, a drunk, a black heart, a coward and on he goes, and it's here where the film really kicks on to be a crackerjack character driven piece. The violence is pretty strong as well, director Gordon Douglas is not shy to put blood on the bones of the writing, and I dare you not to feel a rush of adrenalin as the Apache's start to screech prior to their wave of attacks.

From watching these intriguing characters in a wonderfully tight situation, to the blood pumping Gatling Gun finale, this picture scores high on many entertaining levels. 8/10


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