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 is an action packed western with lots of adventure and fun.
More than that, it gives the viewer three great stars-Douglas, Mattheau, and Chaney in a western conflict.
Douglas plays the hero, the Indian Fighter, which is itself ironic, since he really tries to battle for the Indians, whom are depicted much more honorably than the whites in this movie, as they are in most movies of the era, despite popular belief.
Mattheau and Chaney play two bad guys who take advantage of the Indians. Mattheau is the sneaky one who gains the trust of people, and for a while tricks people into caring. Chaney is the dumber thug, who it turns out is not nearly as despicable as Mattheau's character, and at least has some degree of honesty, but he's still a bad guy. Still, the true evil comes from Mattheau's character.
Franz is stoic and brings the necessary sad honor to the chief Indian role. Hale and other great character actors make this an added delight.
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