17 user 4 critic

War Arrow (1953)

Approved | | War, Western | January 1954 (USA)
Major Howell Brady arrives in Indian Territory in hopes of recruiting peaceful, relocated Seminoles to help the army fight rampaging Kiowas.



On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In Wyoming, Sweetwater town sheriff Stan Blaine finds himself in the middle of a range war between greedy cattle barons and newcomer settlers who compete for public lands and unbranded stray cattle.

Director: Lee Sholem
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Alex Nicol, William Bishop
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the war for Texas independence, one man leaves the Alamo before the end (chosen by lot to help others' families) but is too late to accomplish his mission, and is branded a coward. ... See full summary »

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Glenn Ford, Julie Adams, Chill Wills
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marshal Tyrone and the Silver Kid form an uneasy alliance against a gang of claim jumpers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, Stephen McNally
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Forced by circumstances,Confederate POWs and Union soldiers join forces against Indians but old animosities resurface during their fragile alliance.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Linda Darnell, Jeff Chandler
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

White settlers plan to defy the agreement between the government and the Comanche in order to mine for silver on Comanche lands, while scout Jim Bowie tries to keep the peace in the territory.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Macdonald Carey, Will Geer
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Gregory Peck, Barbara Payton, Ward Bond
Action | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Murphy deserts the Union Army to warn former Texas neighbors of impending Indian attacks triggered by Army massacre. He overcomes initial distrust and convinces the homesteaders (all women ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Audie Murphy, Kathryn Grant, Hope Emerson
Horizons West (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two brothers end up on opposite sides of the law in post-Civil War Texas.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Robert Ryan, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson
Red Sundown (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When his life is saved in a shootout by a fellow gunman whose life he in turn had saved, Alex Longmire promises to give up his way of life. Riding into town he finds the only job available ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Martha Hyer, Dean Jagger
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drifter working as foreman for an iron-fist female rancher must chose sides between his attractive employer and the other neighboring settlers who are mistreated by her.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Crain, Claire Trevor
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston
Backlash (1956)
Mystery | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Jim Slater seeks a survivor of the Apache ambush his father died in.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, William Campbell


Complete credited cast:
Elaine Corwin
Major Howell Brady
Col. Jackson Meade
Suzan Ball ...
Sgt. Augustus Wilks (as Noah Beery)
Sgt. Luke Schermerhorn
Capt. Roger Corwin (as James Bannon)
Stephen Wyman ...
Captain Neil (as Steve Wyman)
Bradford Jackson ...
Lieutenant (as Brad Jackson)


Major Howell Brady and two non-coms are assigned to go to Indian territory and recruit peaceful Seminoles relocated from Florida to aid the army in fighting the larger, rampaging Kiowa tribe. Brady promises them better land than the subsistence reservation they have been assigned to. Maygro, their chief, although initially reluctant, finally agrees for the good of his people. However, Brady's superior, Col. Jackson Meade, is hostile to the idea and distrusts having Indians as allies. Beautiful widow Elaine Corwin, proves a pleasant distraction for Brady although her husband, a unrepentant Confederate whose body was never found, may still be alive and leading the savage Kiowas against the hated Yankees. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Indian tomahawk and cavalry saber fighting side-by-side for the glory of the West !


War | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brady's Bunch  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The rifle shown to the Indians was a genuine 1866 Henry repeater, but the rifle carried by the army troopers later in the film was a Model 1894 Winchester with a brass-colored receiver. See more »


Sgt. Augustus Wilks: I'm beginning to feel a little foolish.
Sgt. Luke Schermerhorn: You got the face to go with it.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Stereotypical (white) Natives, but Chandler, O'Hara and Ball make it worthwhile
15 December 2014 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

The setting of 1953's "War Arrow" is Fort Clark in West Texas near Brackettville during the Indian Wars of the late 19th century. Major Brady (Jeff Chandler) arrives from D.C. to utilize a small band of transplanted Seminoles to aid the US Army against the marauding Kiowas. Brady conflicts with the Colonel of the fort (John McIntire) and romances a redheaded widow (Maureen O'Hara) while a Seminole woman takes interest in him (Suzan Ball).

Chandler was 33 during filming and is great as the masculine protagonist with Hollywood looks, but his greying hair makes him look at least a decade older. Sadly, he'd be dead in less than ten years due to a botched surgery. McIntire as the by-the-book and jealous CO is odious, but maybe redeemable.

The women, O'Hara and Ball, are another highlight. Maureen was 32 during filming and looked great, but she's one of those women who became more exquisite as she got older (to a point, that is). In the early 60s she was one of the most beautiful women to walk the face of the planet. In "War Arrow" she hadn't reached her voluptuous peak yet and she was hardly a good actress at the time, but it is interesting to see her when she was younger. Just as beautiful – and perhaps even more so – was the rising brunette Suzan Ball. She was only 18 during filming and is just stunning as the Seminole Avis. Sadly, she would pass away a mere two years after "War Arrow" was released due to cancer.

Another positive for me is the Agoura, CA, locations, which – surprisingly – are a decent stand-in for West Texas. In any event, the film has a great Western "look."

Unfortunately, the film loses points due to using white actors in the main Native roles, like Dennis Weaver as the Seminole brave who loves Avis and Henry Brandon as Avis' father, Maygro, not to mention Ball as Avis. But this is forgivable since this was the standard practice of the time and there were no Native actors available. Less forgivable is the stereotypical portrayal of the Indians (the haltingly way they speak English, dancing around the fire and the music), but actually it's not as bad as you would think.

The biggest negative is the old-style of filmmaking of Westerns at the time. This is clearly a Hollywoodized portrayal of the Old West that could never be mistaken for reality. Yet there are a number of Westerns that broke out of the these limitations of the era, like 1950's excellent "The Sundowners" (not to be confused with the 1960 film of the same name) and 1956's "The Last Wagon," both of which rank with my favorite Westerns of all time. I point this out to show that some Westerns rose to the top in the 1930s thru 1950s, but "War Arrow" wasn't one of them. Still, it's certainly worth catching for the positives noted above. For me, it's like going back in time and it's enjoyable for this alone.

The film runs 78 minutes.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Maureen, Suzan and Jeff Bspltblzrd
quicksand? NewtonFigg
Discuss War Arrow (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: