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They Rode West (1954)

Approved | | Western | 4 December 1954 (USA)
A young cavalry doctor treats very sick Indians against orders, whom are forced to stay on unhealthy land, which could lead to a war.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Laurie MacKaye
Capt. Peter Blake (as Phil Carey)
Col. Ethan Waters
Peggy Converse ...
Mrs. Martha Walters
Sgt. Creever
Lt. Raymond
Chief Satanta
Eugene Iglesias ...
Red Leaf
John War Eagle ...
Chief Quanah
Ralph Dumke ...
Dr. Gibson


Dr. Allen Seward (Robert Francis) is assigned to a western cavalry post where his predecessors had been drunks and slackers. The post doesn't take kindly to him either, especially after he disregards regulations and tends to sick Indians on the malaria-infested reservation. The Indians break away from the reservation to move to a healthier higher ground, and when they join with the Comanches to besiege the fort, Seward is branded as a "woodhawk", the bird that turns against its own. Donna Reed is present as the niece of the post commander; Phil Carey is a cavalry captain that believes the only good Indian is a dead Indian, and May Wynn (who shared a screen debut with Francis in "The Caine Mutiny)is the white girl raised by the Indians and married to the chief's son. Francis would make only two more films before being killed in a 1955 plane crash. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One false move meant death when ... They Rode West.




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Woodhawk  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In close ups Manyi-ten has long manicured finger nails. See more »


When the Indians ride away after attacking the fort, there are no dead bodies in sight, even though many Indians were killed. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What I saw on YouTube of They Rode West, I really liked
14 July 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

When I found this on YouTube, I discovered that it was chopped up into various highlight segments that altogether ran only about maybe 50 min., more or less. Still, I highly enjoyed what I saw with Robert Francis as the new Calvary doctor sticking with his oath of caring for all human beings including the American Indians forced into the reservation near him. That gets him in plenty of hot water with superior Philip Carey who already doesn't trust doctors since the previous ones were drunk or just plain unreliable. May Wynn, Francis' co-star from The Caine Mutiny, is a white woman who was raised on the reservation after her parents were killed. And Donna Reed is the initial flirt who eventually gets on Francis' side when the others call him an Indian lover (the actual name they called him was "woodhawk".) Quite compelling what I saw so I decided to review this here in case I don't have the chance to watch the whole thing. Still, if I do, I'll come back here and either add some comments or rewrite the whole thing...

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