Capt. Harper's cavalry patrol returns to the fort to find it besieged by Ute Indians. The apparent cause is the recapture of Army traitor Brett Halliday, who deserted to the Utes in a previous war; but Brett has a different story. With capture imminent, the only chance for the surviving men (and one woman) is to boat down a wild, uncharted river, where Harper and Halliday must pull together, like it or not. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to an AP report from May, 1954, Piper Laurie was a replacement for original leading lady, Allison Hayes. No reason was given for the change, but Hayes left Universal-International about the same time. See more »
When the soldier lost the water barrel over the side of the cliff, he was yanking on the wooden spigot several times as though it were a stuck cork that you have to yank out of the barrel. But it was not a cork, it was a wooden spigot that you turn to open. This was simply to add tension to that part of the movie, which had no action. See more »
US Cavalry takes to the boats to escape the Indians
As a child in the 1960s I watched as many Westerns at the cinema as possible, and "Smoke Signal" was one of those that left a lasting impression. I had to wait many years for it to be shown on British TV, and then it wasn't quite as good as I'd remembered, but still quite novel, with the US Cavalry taking to the boats to escape Indians. Certainly the Grand Canyon made a spectacular background to much of the film, though with the white protagonists being confined to two small boats quite a lot of rather obvious back projection was necessary whenever one of them spoke.
Few films of the 1950s (or indeed of any period)dared omit a female from the cast, however contrived her inclusion might be, and here we have Piper Laurie visiting her father at one of the most primitive forts I've seen portrayed in a film at a time of tension with the Indians.
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