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
Elsa Martinelli, who played the Indian girl, never would have gotten the part if Kirk Douglas's wife, Anne, hadn't discovered her on the pages of Vogue Magazine and recommended her for the part. Kirk Douglas, in his autobiography, "The Ragman's Son", describes how he and Elsa had constant sex during the filming of the movie. So much for gratitude. See more »
Right before the Indians tie Todd to the tree with the intention of burning him, he's having a conversation with Johnny. During this conversation, Johnny's left arm repeatedly changes positions, from being stretched out against the tree, to holding his hat in front of him and back to stretched out against the tree. 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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"The Indian Fighter" was filmed entirely in the outdoor beauty of Oregon. The scenery and color are breathtaking. The action scenes are expertly staged and executed, particularly the Indian attack on the fort.
Kirk Douglas stars in the title role as a scout who is hired to guide a wagon train through Indian Territory to Oregon. Walter Matthau (in an early role) and Lon Chaney (wasted again) play the villains of the piece who start up an Indian war by trying to steal gold from their land. Eduard Franz plays Red Cloud the Sioux chief who tries to keep the white man from encroaching on his people's land.
Elsa Martinelli is an Indian maiden who becomes Douglas' main love interest and Diana Douglas (Kirk's wife at the time and mother of MIchael) plays a settler woman with designs on Kirk but who has to settle for hard-working Alan Hale instead. I wonder how Diana Douglas felt about Kirk rolling around in a creek with Ms. Martinelli?
Rounding out the cast are a number of familiar faces. Walter Abel plays the army captain, Elisha Cook a frontier photographer and Ray Teal, Frank Cady and Lane Chandler as various settlers.
"The Indian Fighter" rises a step above similar westerns through its beautiful scenery and exciting action sequences. It is a truly exciting and colorful outdoor adventure.
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