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
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 6.8 seconds, fast for an early CinemaScope film. 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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This western is a solid adventure has plenty of action and romance and cavalry-Indian fighting. Kirk Douglas is the hero of the story as he guides a wagon train west through Indian country. Problems arise as gold-hungry white men offer whiskey to Indians for information about the whereabouts of gold deposits on Sioux land. While guiding the train, Douglas finds time for a dalliance with a pretty Indian maiden, the beautiful Elza Martinelli, but the lust for gold undoes a peace treaty with the Indians and leads to hostilities, with the train racing back to the fort for army protection. Douglas is great as the trail guide and Martinelli is a looker but doesn't seem comfortable with extended dialogue. Walter Matthau, Lon Chaney Jr, Ray Teal and Elisha Cook have key roles and ex-spouse Diana Douglas has a nice part as a marriage-minded widow. Franz Waxman contributes a nice score, a wistful, brooding accompaniment for this quality western.
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