6.3/10
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Column South (1953)

Approved | | Western | 1953 (UK)
Before the Civil War, Lt. Jed Sayre's efforts to conciliate the cavalry and the Navajo are undermined by his racist C.O. and Confederate sympathizers.

Director:

(as Frederick de Cordova)

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lt. Jed Sayre
...
Marcy Whitlock
...
Capt. Lee Whitlock
...
Brig. Gen. Storey
...
Menguito
...
Chalmers (as Palmer Lee)
...
Cpl. Biddle
...
Trooper Vaness
...
Lt. Posick
...
Sgt. McAfee
...
...
Joe Copper Face
...
Trooper Chavez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Storyline

As Lt. Jed Sayre struggles to prevent pre-Civil War tensions and a racist commanding officer from triggering war between the U.S. Cavalry and Navajo Indians, he finds his efforts are being undermined by the machinations of Confederate sympathizers. Written by Michelle Sturges

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Against treason and Navajo fury the U.S. cavalry rides ! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1953 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Coloana Sud  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Ray Collins's character is "Gen. Stone" in dialogue, but "Gen. Storey" in the credits. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Ben Chalmers: You know, if you two put off hating each other so much, you might find you'd like each other a lot.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FORT UNION

TERRITORY OF NEW MEXICO

JANUARY 1861 See more »

Soundtracks

John Brown's Body
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Civil War divides U.S. cavalry in New Mexico
9 August 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Column South" (1953) features Audie Murphy, Robert Sterling, Dennis Weaver and Ray Collins all in crisp performances, with Murphy's romantic interest being Joan Evans, playing the sister of Sterling. The setting is attractive and the story interesting.

To an extent it parallels "Fort Apache" with Sterling taking Fonda's part. Sterling, bringing Evans along, takes over a command post in a New Mexico fort occupied by U.S. cavalry. They are roughly 2/3 Union-oriented and 1/3 South-oriented, and it is the eve of the Civil War. Sterling is a southerner who takes the native Navajos, headed by Dennis Weaver, as savages. He's looking for an excuse to fight them and make his reputation. Evans is repulsed by Indians too. Audie Murphy, the experienced lieutenant and friend of Weaver, has to hustle just to keep a war between Navajo and cavalry from breaking out and to save Sterling's life when he rides the troop into an ambush situation.

Having stabilized that situation, Murphy still can't breathe easy. Unknown to him and Sterling (at first), a really dastardly plot of Ray Collins, the general above Sterling, is swinging into action. Collins is a southerner (a Copperhead) and operates an elaborate plan that will win the war for the South. This plan seeks to set the cavalry against the Navajo and vice versa, diverting them from other action; and to send them on a wild goose chase after Apache. Both Murphy and Sterling are placed into situations not of their making that require moral decisions.

The story tends to lose its interesting psychological and moral conflicts toward the end and become dominated by fighting. It has some difficulty in following through with the effects on the characters of the Collins scheme. This dissipates the emotional potential. Good acting does what it can to save the day and makes this film still of interest as a western and an Audie Murphy western.


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