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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 was a Ghost Dance movement, it was a religious revival of Native Americans in 1890, but it had nothing at all to do with the Apaches. It was popular among the Lakota (Souix) of the Northern Plains. See more »
Captain, you're a smart man. You have lots of brains. You're really intelligent. You're just kind of stupid.
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Arrowhead is one of that batch of films that Charlton Heston did between his two DeMille pictures, some good, some mediocre. Arrowhead kind of falls between both categories.
It is one of the most uncompromising films in terms of the place of the American Indian. It's point is that the more we get rid of, the more room for the whites. So either pack 'em off to reservations or kill them. At least Charlton Heston's character feels that way.
Now there apparently is some justification for Heston's feelings at least as far as this group of Apaches are concerned. He was raised among them and knows them well. And knows that the young warrior prince. Jack Palance, is not going to go quietly off to a reservation.
None of which is really explored in the finished product. I have the feeling the editors left a lot of this film on the cutting room floor. Also Heston's relationship with Katy Jurado who acts as a spy while living without benefit of clergy with him is similarly untouched. But for that I blame the Code. What there is is quite daring for its time.
The ending is kind of silly also. When he has the drop on Palance, Palance asks Heston why he doesn't shoot him. Good question Jack, I can't figure it out either. More I won't say.
The film was shot on location in Texas and done very well. Palance, fresh off the acclaim he received from Shane, has the best role in the film. This is also an early film for Brian Keith and he acquits himself well as a young cavalry officer.
But Arrowhead could have been a whole lot better.
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