The only white survivor of a Crow Indian raid on a wagon train is a young boy. He is rescued by the Sioux, and the Sioux chief raises him as an Indian in very way. Years later, the white ... See full summary »
The only white survivor of a Crow Indian raid on a wagon train is a young boy. He is rescued by the Sioux, and the Sioux chief raises him as an Indian in very way. Years later, the white men and the Sioux threaten to go to war and the Indian-raised white man is torn between his racial loyalties and his adopted tribe. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Savage is directed by George Marshall and adapted to screenplay by Sydney Boehm from the novel The Renegade written by L.L. Foreman. It stars Charlton Heston, Susan Morrow, Ian MacDonald, Peter Hansen, Joan Taylor, Richard Rober, Ted de Corsia, Frank Richards and Don Porter. Music is by Paul Sawtell and cinematography by John F. Seitz.
It's an honourable failure, a film of good pro Indian intentions, but ultimately the narrative thrust is dampened by a script not prepared to challenge its themes. Plot finds young Jim Aherne (Orly Lindgren) as the only survivor of a wagon train attack by the Crow Indians who are not prepared to adhere to the newly called for truce between the whites and the reds. Fortunately for Jim, the Sioux come along and see off the Crow and the Sioux chief raises him as his own son in the Indian traditions. Growing up to be Warbonnet (Heston), he's a happy man, but trouble is brewing between the whites and the reds and Warbonnet gets torn between loyalties.
What transpires is a familiar thread that sees Warbonnet, a white man by birth but Indian of upbringing, see at first hand racism and foolhardy politics from both sides of the fence. There's a good quota of action spread throughout the pic, with the location photography around the Black Hills of Dakota making for a pleasing backdrop, and there's some well structured passages that let Heston strut his stuff. Yet it never adds up to being more than a gentle sermon, with characters that basically can't veer from the standard old fashioned formula of such pictorial genre pieces.
Worth a viewing for Heston and Western purists, but not worth hunting high and low for. 6/10
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