Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Western  |  1952 (UK)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 194 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

After violently attacking a fellow officer Lt. Edward Garnett, cavalry Captain Kern Shafter is court martialled. Later, he rejoins the army with Custer's regiment at Fort Lincoln, Dakota, becoming a sergeant, where he runs into his old foe.



(screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes) , (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Kern Shafter
Helena Carter ...
Josephine Russell
Capt. Edward Garnett
Capt. Myles Moylan
James Millican ...
Sgt. Hines
Gertrude Michael ...
Stuart Randall ...
Bannack Bill
William 'Bill' Phillips ...


Kern Shafter arrives at a Dakota army post to find it commanded by his old nemesis Edward Garnett. Shafter and Garnett despise each other, and the antagonism ripens in a competition for the affections of Josephine Russell, a beautiful young woman. Garnett repeatedly attempts to diminish Shafter in Josephine's eyes, and he sends Shafter on dangerous missions, clearly hoping Shafter will not return. A scouting mission in support of General Custer's command leads both Shafter and Garnett into the most dangerous circumstance of their lives. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die schwarzen Reiter von Dakota  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There is a city named Shafter which is located in Kern County. It is unknown whether this influenced the name of the lead character, Kern Shafter. Could it just be a coincidence? See more »


Obvious stunt doubles used in the fight between Shafter and Donavan and in the two fights between Shafter and Garnett. See more »


Edited from They Died with Their Boots On (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Love triangle to the sound of trumpets
9 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

An interesting variation on the story of Custer's last stand. It deals with the same battle with the Sioux, but at a site a few miles away from where Custer and his men were massacred. This premise is a nice angle to focus on although I'm not sure that any part of this has any historical battle. The scenery is breathtaking and we were treated to arrows in the back, Indians flying off horses, hand to hand combat and fisticuffs between soldiers. Ray Milland looks alarmingly like John Wayne, but I enjoyed his performance. Too much of the movie concentrates on a love triangle between Milland, his boss and seemingly the only female in the whole area. Quite frankly, both men needed their heads banging together and told to get on with the job in hand. But where would the drama be in that? Despite this whole feud becoming a little tiresome, this was an interesting piece and is well worth a view.

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