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Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 1952 (UK)
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.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Capt. Edward Garnett
...
Donavan
...
Capt. Myles Moylan
...
Lt. Smith
...
Sgt. Hines
...
May
...
Bannack Bill
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Tinney
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

WHEN FLAMING ARROWS WERE THE SCOURGE OF THE DAKOTA TERRITORY! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die schwarzen Reiter von Dakota  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a city in California named Shafter, located in Kern County, between Bakersfield and Porterville. It is unknown whether this influenced the name of the lead character, Kern Shafter. See more »

Goofs

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Reasonable film adaptation of respected Little Big Horn novel
6 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

The book "Bugles in the Afternoon" is regarded as one of the better novels relating to Custer's Last Stand, and this film is a reasonable adaptation, not that it devotes much time to the battle itself. Rather it concentrates on a love triangle, with some good cavalry action with the Indians that is almost incidental to the Custer massacre.

I blinked a little at Kern Shafter's appearance on arriving to enlist at Fort Abraham Lincoln; he looked extremely smart, even for the gambler he had become. I assume his motivation in rejoining the colours was nostalgia for army life,though this wasn't completely evident.

The well-known participants in the battle - Custer, Reno, Benteen - don't get much screen time, and the General himself has only a few lines. At least he looks the part, with the short hair he favoured for a hot campaign rather than his trademark long locks. Purists may raise their eyebrows at the cavalry using repeating rifles, when in fact they carried single-shot carbines, and pack-animals rather than the wagons shown supplied the troops in the general battlefield area.

But all in all, it's a reasonable cavalry Western, but not in the same league as those of John Wayne and John Ford.


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