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Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 8 December 1952 (USA)
During the 1700s, in the Great Lakes region the British troops have driven the French out and with help from the mercenary Hessian troops the British plan to annihilate the native tribes of the Ottawas.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lt. Kent McIntire
Helen Westcott ...
Winifred Lancaster
...
Chief Pontiac (as Lon Chaney)
Berry Kroeger ...
Col. von Weber
...
Maj. Gladwin
...
Hawkbill
Katherine Warren ...
Chia (as Katharine Warren)
Ramsay Hill ...
Gen. Sir Jeffrey Amherst (as Ramsey Hill)
...
Von Weber's aide
James Fairfax ...
Guardhouse sentry
Abner George ...
Doctor
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Storyline

In pre-Revolutionary America, the efforts of a Colonial officer trying to broker a peace deal between Indian chief Pontiac and British and American settlers are threatened by the commander of a Hessian mercenary unit who embarks on a campaign of extermination against the Indians. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The fighting story of the great Pontiac. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 December 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los que saben morir  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Indians are played by members of a Sioux tribe from a reservation near Rapid City, South Dakota, where this was filmed. The British and Hessian troops were played by U.S. Air Force soldiers from a local airbase. See more »

Goofs

The primary villains are Hessian troops and their leader. However, Hessian soldiers were not deployed in North America until the American Revolution, at least ten or more years after the events of this movie. See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Leatherstocking Tales From The Cinema
13 July 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

With a bow to James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales, this independent production purports to tell the story of the Pontiac Indian Confederacy or at least a small portion thereof. It's an extremely complex subject that not even the historians specializing in colonial America have ever really sorted it all out.

For one thing it wasn't one war, but a series of them from 1763 to 1769 involving the Indians and white settlers ever pushing over the Appalachian mountains. Chief Pontiac was a leader of one of the tribes against the whites, but he was a charismatic kind of leader and as a result his name dominates the era.

One of the most horrific examples of barbaric cruelty to the Indians came from his war when one of Lord Jeffery Amherst's commanders at Amherst's suggestion gave infected blankets used in a smallpox epidemic. The disease decimated the local Indian population, but it was only one incident terrible as it was and it happened at Fort Pitt, not at Fort Detroit where Pontiac was operating.

And World War II provided a stock villain. Berry Kroeger was a cruder version of the kind of roles George MacReady played and Kroeger did play many a Nazi. He's a Nazi like figure commanding Hessian mercenaries fighting for the British. From World War II on, the cinema was filled with hateful German villains and Kroeger is in the Erich Von Stroheim tradition of a Hun you love to hate.

The leads in this film are Lex Barker as a Natty Bumppo type frontiersman and Helen Westcott whom he rescues from captivity. Lon Chaney, Jr. gives a restrained and dignified portrayal of Chief Pontiac. But it's Kroeger on whom the picture really turns.

Battles Of Chief Pontiac is in the tradition of Broken Arrow, Fort Apache, and Devil's Doorway as American cinema discovered sympathy for the Indian albeit it's set in an earlier era. Too bad it just isn't as good or as accurate as those other three classics.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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