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Massacre Canyon (1954)

Passed  -  Western  -  1 May 1954 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 32 users  
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Lt. Faraday has two wagons full of guns that he and his men must deliver. He also must escort two young ladies through hostile Indian Country. It is up to Running Horse to sabotage the ... See full summary »

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Title: Massacre Canyon (1954)

Massacre Canyon (1954) on IMDb 5.6/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lt. Richard Arlington Faraday (as Phil Carey)
Audrey Totter ...
Flaxy
Douglas Kennedy ...
Sgt. James Marlowe
Jeff Donnell ...
Cora
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Pvt. Archibald 'Peaceful' Allen (as Guinn Williams)
Charlita ...
Gita
Ross Elliott ...
Pvt. George W. Davis
Ralph Dumke ...
Phineas J. 'Parson' Canfield
Mel Welles ...
Gonzáles
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Storyline

Lt. Faraday has two wagons full of guns that he and his men must deliver. He also must escort two young ladies through hostile Indian Country. It is up to Running Horse to sabotage the wagons so that they will end up at Massacre Canyon where they will meet their fate. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE LAST ATTACK OF THE APACHE NATION! (original six-sheet poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre Canyon  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Only if you Like to Count Dead Indians
18 January 2006 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Often confused with the better Johnny Mack Brown western "Canyon Ambush", "Massacre Canyon" is a standard mid-50's "B" western with a better than average cast.

The cast deserves a better screenplay or at least a screenplay with a more convincing ending. The story has a good basis, a small detail (of soldiers) dress as civilians to get a couple wagon loads of Henry repeating rifles through hostile Indian territory and deliver them to their fort. The rifles are hidden in the wagon beds and the idea is to fool the local Apaches into thinking they are just civilians transporting food. Along the way they are joined by a couple of mail order brides (including film's all-time best bad girl Andrey Totter) and a replacement officer (Phillip Carey) who is being exiled to this remote fort.

This sets up two romances, Totter and Carey pair off as do the remaining bride and one of the soldiers. It also sets up a conflict between Carey and the NCO in charge of the detail (Douglas Kennedy), whose expected promotion will be delayed because of the arrival of a new officer. Finally, it blows their cover because the guy driving the girls discovers the guns and sells the group out to the Indians.

The sets look authentic, the filming is good, the acting is decent, and the story is complex enough to be fairly interesting. But "Massacre Canyon's" claim to fame is the spectacular way the movie crashes and burns during the final 15 minutes, as it features what is undeniably the most moronic Indian attack in cinema history. Not until "Saving Private Ryan" would a director show this much disrespect for the intelligence and basic survival skills of what are supposed to be the "enemy" forces.

The title "Massacre Canyon" apparently refers to the canyon in which at least 60 Apaches attempt to "ambush" Carey and Kennedy (the rest of the cast has left the area) but end up being massacred instead. By now the two have settled their differences and team up to kill the entire war party. Rather than making a strong case for the effectiveness of the Henry rifle, it makes a strong case for the Indians being evolution's missing link. Wave after wave of mounted savages ride up within a few feet of Carey and Kennedy's position, rather than overrun them they stop and begin riding back and forth like targets in a shooting gallery. After most are dropped those who remain ride back into the hills only to return a minute later with their original numbers mysteriously replenished. During the brief intervals when Cary and Kennedy have no Indians close at hand they trade quips as they relentlessly pick off the Indian marksmen firing down on them from the hills overlooking their position.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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