When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »
In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.
Chief of Scouts Ed Bannon narrowly avoids an Apache ambush while working with the cavalry stationed at Fort Clark, Texas. The US Army is trying to talk peace with the Apaches and move them to reservations in Florida, and they take Bannon's efforts as detrimental to their new policies, so they fire him. When the Apache chief's son Torinada returns from an Eastern education, Bannon becomes highly suspicious of his motives based run-ins with Torinada in the past. Bannon continues shadowing the proceedings to the chagrin of both the US Army and the Apache warrior. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
There actually was a Ghost Dance movement, it was a religious revival of Native Americans in 1890, but it did not involve Apaches, who inhabited mainly the Southwest (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.). It was popular among the Lakota (Sioux) of the Northern Plains. See more »
Considering the vast amount of Cavalry-vs.-Indians Westerns made during the genre's heyday, this emerges as a reasonably engaging entry thanks to the pleasant Technicolor hues but, even more so, the scenery-chewing antics of its two stars (Charlton Heston and Jack Palance). I'd owned a copy of the bare-bones Paramount DVD for quite some time, but found the perfect opportunity to check it out now in tribute to Heston's recent passing.
He plays a maverick scout who, in the past, had spent some time with the Apaches; he knows them inside out and is, therefore, indispensable to the Cavalry because he can anticipate what their next move will be. The tribe has ostensibly capitulated and is heading towards the reservation but, when the current chief's son (Palance) arrives on the scene having undertaken an education merely to fulfill a prophecy which would make him the savior of his people! the attacks start anew, thus confirming Heston's skepticism of the whole deal (and which had practically ostracized him from his office). The film, whose title remains unexplained throughout, generally delivers in the action stakes (even if Heston and Palance's long-awaited showdown, the 'war' being resolved in single hand-to-hand combat between them, is a disappointingly hasty affair) but is let down by a couple of obligatory romantic rivalries: Heston is torn between half-breed Katy Jurado, who's wasted, and Mary Sinclair, the widow of the Fort Commander who's also desired by his successor (Brian Keith).
Heston made a number of such minor genre fare (which, I have to admit, I had all but ignored all these many years) including another Western penned by Charles Marquis Warren, PONY EXPRESS (1953) before carving a niche for himself playing larger-than-life roles in a myriad big-budget spectaculars. Having mentioned the writer/director, I recently acquired another Western of his the well-regarded and, reportedly, noir-tinged LITTLE BIG HORN (1951) which, naturally, revolves around Custer's infamous Last Stand.
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