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Johnny Hawks, a former Indian fighter, returns to the West after the Civil War. He reacquaints himself with the Indian band led by Red Cloud. Red Cloud's beautiful daughter has now grown into womanhood... Unscrupulous whisky traders are after the gold on Indian land. Hawks averts serious bloodshed by convincing Red Cloud to make a treaty... Hawks leads an Oregon-bound wagon train through Indian territory. When he slips away to see the chief's daughter, trouble between braves and whisky traders flares up anew, putting the wagon train and the nearby fort in peril... Written by
The casting of Onahti (the Indian girl) turned out to be much more difficult than first anticipated. Though there were a number of unsuccessful auditions, it wasn't until Kirk Douglas' wife Anne Douglas spotted a model in "Vogue" magazine that the production knew they had their leading lady. Her name was Elsa Martinelli, an Italian model on the verge of becoming an international star. Douglas, in his autobiography "The Ragman's Son", describes how he and Matinelli had constant sex during the filming of the movie. So much for gratitude. See more »
In the beginning of the film, after Red Cloud shows to Johnny Hawks two men hung by the feet, Hawks stands talking to Red Cloud and Grey Wolf. Then his hands appears either grabbing the holster or by his sides, alternately, when it cuts from one shot to another. See more »
[In order to rescue Wes, Johnny must defeat Gray Wolf to a fight to the death]
What does that mean?
I gotta fight him for your hide.
What happens if you lose?
Well, my troubles will be over... yours will just begin.
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I've always enjoyed Kirk Douglas films in general and he's usually very good in westerns. But The Indian Fighter quite frankly is a pumped up B western.
Kirk produced this one as well and was able to get a good cast of familiar faces in westerns. He even got his ex-wife, Diana Douglas to appear as a widow traveling west on a wagon train with her son.
Kirk Douglas is Johnny Hawks who is a scout guiding a wagon train west to Oregon. The film opens with him checking out the naked Elsa Martinelli taking a bath in a creek. Pleasure before business and he continues on to the village where he finds out Elsa is the daughter of Chief Eduard Franz.
And that sets the tone for the film. When Douglas should be concerned about the safety of the people he's working for, he's off trying to court Elsa. His preoccupation with her almost causes disaster to the train.
Action there is though, including a nicely staged Indian attack on an army post. And the whole film was shot in Oregon on location quite nicely. I believe some of this same area was used in Kirk Douglas's later western The Way West.
Kirk Douglas's heroes are usually flawed and quite three dimensional. But this film has a hero I could not really get a rooting interest for.
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