A woman and two children are kidnapped by Apaches. The husband of the captured woman enlists the help of his neighbor to find the Apaches that seized his family; not knowing his neighbor has unknown reasons of his own for helping him.
The story involves an overland journey through hostile Cheyenne territory to rescue two white women captured by the Cheyenne. One has turned renegade and is not anxious to be rescued as she is about to be married to Chief Thunder Hawk. Vera Miles dies and the cavalry comes to the rescue in the nick of time by a stream called Feather River. Knives, arrows, spears and tomahawks all come flying at the audience. Frank Lovejoy discourages a rattlesnake with tobacco juice and even gets off a shot into the audience. Written by
Tom Kresin <email@example.com>
The Charge At Feather River finds Guy Madison in charge of a group of misfit soldiers called the Guardhouse Brigade because that's where most of them were recruited for this mission from. The mission is to rescue two white women, Helen Westcott and Vera Miles, who were taken years ago during a raid and are now confirmed alive and now living with the Arapahoe.
The worst of his recruits is Neville Brand, but the rest of the crew that Madison has are no prizes with the exception of Lane Chandler who was a former Confederate officer who captured Madison during the Civil War. Along for comic relief are Dick Wesson and Henry Kulky who provide some levity in what is a serious film.
Vera Miles got her first real notice here. She's never been to Sweden, but she suffers from Stockholm syndrome as she now totally identifies with her captors. In fact she's going to be the bride of the chief, making him quite the envy of his tribe since none of them are married to any blonds. She acquits herself well in the part.
The film is loosely based on a real cavalry engagement in the Indian Wars, the battle of Beecher's Island. It combines elements of The Dirty Dozen and with John Ford's classic Two Rode Together.
And of course there's the 3-D which elicited a lot of excitement back in the Fifties. Even today seeing the various spears, tomahawks, and even some tobacco juice, courtesy of Frank Lovejoy, coming right at you on the small screen is impressive.
The Charge At Feather River still holds up well today, but should really be seen at a movie theater.
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