A cavalry officer sympathetic to the wronged Sioux fixes a meeting between Chief Sitting Bull and President Grant but a dishonest Indian Agent and a hateful General Custer test the Sioux's patience, threatening to derail the peace-talks.
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Bernard B. Ray
Chief Sitting Bull of the Sioux tribe is forced by the Indian-hating General Custer to react with violence, resulting in the famous Last Stand at Little Bighorn. Parrish, a friend to the Sioux, tries to prevent the bloodshed, but is court- martialed for "collaborating" with the enemy. Sitting Bull, however, manages to intercede with President Grant on Parrish's behalf. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
While everyone is waiting for President Grant's response, due before the next full moon, the moon's terminator (the line between light and shadow) apparently moves from left to right. The terminator always moves from right to left. See more »
These are the Black Hills of Dakota. The Sioux Indians named this land. It is their word for "friendly." There are seven warrior tribes in the Sioux Nation. And I have prayed the Dakota and its hills would be too rough for the white man and his plows. But, once again, the white man comes. I watch their coming with a sad heart. There are few now, but I know that many will come for they seek the white man's treasure... gold.
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No western hero who was in the military ever took more on himself than did Dale Robertson in Sitting Bull. Not even Errol Flynn who buried Confederate gold in violation of orders in Virginia City got himself in as much trouble as did Major than Captain Robertson did here.
This B film from MGM is yet another version of the events of surrounding the Little Big Horn battle where Douglas Kennedy as Custer got himself surrounded and massacred by some angry Sioux Indians. This version does show the Indian side of the events, how badly treated they were on reservations, how the whites once word of gold being discovered in their sacred Black Hills of Dakota territory systematically broke the treaties signed. Yet in fact the film went a bit overboard with presenting the Indian side and took great liberty with the facts.
Dale Robertson's an army major who zealously follows his orders about respecting the Indian rights, to the dismay of former General now Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Robertson's maverick tendencies wouldn't be liked in the army in any event, but his fiancé Mary Murphy who is General John Litel's daughter wants an upwardly mobile career man and Robertson doesn't look like a good bet. For standing on his beliefs Robertson loses her to newspaper reporter William Hopper.
But Dale gets himself in an even bigger jackpot. He's got an agreement with his former commander Ulysses S. Grant who is now president of the United States, the big chief of all the white folks. But when Custer moves prematurely and gets massacred and troops are sent on reprisal, Robertson does a very daring and potentially foolish thing to keep the peace process alive. That's the essence of our story.
Which of course never did happen. Neither did Ulysses S. Grant as played by John Hamilton on hiatus from the Superman series ever come west to negotiate with J. Carrol Naish as Sitting Bull. That's the biggest flaw in this film.
Murphy's character doesn't ring true either. From a woman who makes no bones about her desire for an upwardly mobile man, she does an about face and would make Tammy Wynette proud if Tammy had in fact ever seen Sitting Bull.
The film's heart is the in the right place, but the rest of it is out to lunch.
Though I will say one thing. If what I read is true about Mary Murphy's bout with Montezuma's revenge on location for this movie, she may have given one of the great performances of all time just getting through this film without a hint on screen.
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