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O'Rourke and his Cree half brother Cajou are returning from a northern Canadian trapping trip when they encounter a burned wagon train and sole survivor Grace. Naive Mountie commander Benton believes it to be a Cree attack. The Sioux from across the border are trying to force the Cree into being allies in their struggle with the U.S. 7th Cavalry. O'Rourke must mutiny to save the men. He must also aid Grace, in whom Marshal Smith has both official and unprovoked amorous interests. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
I've noticed a number of other reviewers, Canadian reviewers, mostly have gone to town on Saskatchewan. Making fun of the fact that the Mounted Police are wearing the Smokey the Bear hats which were not regulation until after World War I. They wore pillbox type hats as you can see in the Shirley Temple-Randolph Scott film Sussanah of the Mounties. The uniforms they fought in were also not the bright scarlet dress uniforms you see them in here as well.
However according to the films of Alan Ladd, Saskatchewan was made in Canada near Banff so the location is somewhat accurate and it certainly is picturesque. What's not accurate this whole basis for the story of the Sioux going north to stir the Cree Indians of Canada up to go on the warpath.
The Sioux went north after the Little Big Horn, but it was for refuge as you can imagine it was pretty hot for them south of the 49th parallel. The last thing they were looking to do was stir trouble in a place they were looking for support.
But that's what we have here as two men clash about what to do about those visiting Sioux. Inspector Alan Ladd's lived among the Cree and is a blood brother to Jay Silverheels. Because of the Sioux a new commander at Ladd's post orders Cree rifles taken from them. That gets the Crees collective backs up as they've been peaceful and need the weapons for hunting.
Later on the new commander gets an order to abandon that post and take all the weapons and ordnance to another post. The commander, Robert Douglas, is a spit and polish guy from Great Britain and hasn't a clue about the Indians or the Canadian woods. On the trail Ladd pulls a Fletcher Christian number on him and the men follow Ladd.
There's also a subplot involving a United States marshal seeking extradition for Shelley Winters who is wanted for murder in the USA. They're along on the trail of mutiny as well.
Given those facts it's no wonder that Canadian audiences to this day apparently don't receive Saskatchewan well. A pity because Raoul Walsh, one of the best action directors ever, does well in that department with the ridiculous story. Ladd's as intrepid a Mountie as ever this side of Nelson Eddy and Winters essentially repeats her character from Winchester 73.
In the supporting cast is J. Carrol Naish who plays the Metis scout for the Mounties who apparently every time he turns his wife is birthing another child. It's his performance I enjoy best about Saskatchewan.
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