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War Paint (1953)

Approved | | Adventure, War, Western | 28 August 1953 (USA)
An Indian and his beautiful sister attempt to destroy a cavalry patrol trying to deliver a peace treaty to their chief.



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Complete credited cast:
Lt. Billings
Sgt. Clarke
Keith Larsen ...
Trooper Tolson
Trooper Grady (as Robert Wilke)
Trooper Allison
Trooper Charnofsky
Douglas Kennedy ...
Trooper Clancy
Charles Nolte ...
Cpl. Hamilton
James Parnell ...
Trooper Martin
Trooper Perkins
William Pullen ...
Richard H. Cutting ...
Commissioner Kirby (as Richard Cutting)


Lieut. Billings and his army patrol are ordered to deliver a new peace treaty to the Indian Commissioner, who is missing. They have nine days to get the treaty to Chief Gray Cloud or there will be war. Chief's son Taslik offers to guide them. But as their water runs low and conflicts escalate, they can't help wondering why Taslik is wearing war paint. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Outdoor adventure that thunders across the screen!


Adventure | War | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Tal des Verderbens  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Elaine, My Sweet Elaine
Music by Emil Newman
Lyrics by Johnny Lehmann
Sung by cast and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

"War Paint" (1953) starring Robert Stack is a good "mission across the desert" movie
3 August 2012 | by (Columbia (Lancaster County) Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

"War Paint" (1953) starring Robert Stack is a good "mission across the desert" movie with good actors, an OK script, and portrays US Army deserters who murder loyal Army soldiers and try to murder their commanding officer, and almost succeed.

Very few movies portray this important military discipline problem which has happened often in US and other Army military history.

US Army officers are issued sidearms (handguns) to defend themselves against enlisted men they command who may decide to disobey orders and murder the commander who gave them orders they disobey.

During the War In Vietnam, the phenomenon of enlisted men murdering officers who commanded them was publicized and often called "fragging." Enlisted men who attack and try to murder officers, and sometimes succeed, is not new to military experience. Leading a military unit is dangerous for many reasons, not only because of enemy fire, but due to "friendly fire" from soldiers part of one's military group, which "friendly fire" is, sadly and tragically, sometimes intentional.

Murdered officers killed by their own men is not new in military history.

This "War Paint" (1953) movie set in desert country about a small military unit led by a single junior (low level) officer (a Lieutenant) played by Robert Stack shows enlisted men, about a dozen of them, made desperate by harsh no-water desert conditions, and greedy due to a gold mine they come across on their way to delivering a peace treaty to an Indian tribal chief (the mission the military group has in the "old West" of post-Civil War 19th century times in the far west desert country. (This movie was shot entirely in California's "Death Valley," located near the Nevada/ California state border, famous for it's moonscape appearance where almost nothing, plant or animal, can live, or does.) The movie story is very simple, and not a little eerie.

It was made the same year Robert Stack starred in the first 3-D movie titled "Bwana Devil," set in Africa.....another Robert Stack adventure movie.

"War Paint" is a good movie for several reasons, including it's unusual and forthright treatment of bad soldiers doing damage to good soldiers, all in the same Army and supposed to be on the "same team." A single female character is included in the cast, and she is supposed to be an Indian maiden, the daughter of the Indian tribal chief the military group seeks to present with a US Govt. peace treaty.

The girl is beautiful, dressed in a form fitting doe-skin dress, has a perfect complexion, lovely thick dark braided hair, every hair neatly in place, a very pretty face, and a great, curvy female figure, including chorus girl legs shown off when she rides horses or wrestles around on the ground when attacked by soldiers or attacking the soldiers on her own.

She is not a typical movie Indian girl...not submissive, not inarticulate, not demure. She's smart as hell in every way, and shows off her good mental qualities (which match her dazzling appearance) without apology or restraint.

Her physical beauty is a welcome visual relief for movie viewers who must watch the movie story set in the dull and ugly moonscape desert environment which oppresses the struggling soldiers for obvious reasons.

The Indian maiden does not join the military group until the movie is 2/3rds over, and then she is their hostile and unpleasant prisoner, outspokenly "anti-White man!" But we see her (the audience does) well before the actor soldiers do, and we see her comely features and great legs.

She helps her brother, who opposes the US Govt. treaty his father, the Indian tribal chief wants and supports. The brother murders American soldiers, is taken prisoner by the military group, escapes, attacks the group, and finally is killed, all while the younger adult female sister assists her brother and stays out of sight of the military group....until the last 1/3 of the movie when she shoots a straggling soldier during a rifle battle she initiates, and is caught, taken prisoner, and retained as a hostage to present to the Indian tribal chief.

Predictably, she befriends handsome Robert Stack, and at the end of the movie, only the two of them (Stack and the girl) remain....all other soldiers part of the "mission across the desert" have died.....most due to being killed by fellow soldiers.

The whole movie is unusual and thought provoking, worth seeing.


Written by Tex Allen, SAG-AFTRA movie actor. Visit WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen for more information about Tex Allen.

Tex Allen's email address is TexAllen@Rocketmail.Com.

See Tex Allen Movie Credits, Biography, and 2012 photos at WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen. See other Tex Allen written movie reviews....almost 100 titles.... at: "http://imdb.com/user/ur15279309/comments" (paste this address into your URL Browser)

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