6.5/10
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27 user 6 critic

White Feather (1955)

Approved | | History, Western | 16 February 1955 (USA)
In 1877 Wyoming, during the peace negotiations between the Cheyenne and the USA, an Indian girl falls in-love with a land surveyor, causing the ire of her Cheyenne fiance.

Director:

(as Robert Webb)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Josh Tanner
...
Col. Lindsay
...
Appearing Day
...
Little Dog
...
Chief Broken Hand
...
Lt. Ferguson (as Noah Beery)
Virginia Leith ...
Ann Magruder
Emile Meyer ...
Magruder
...
American Horse
...
Commissioner Trenton
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Storyline

The story of the peace mission from the US cavalry to the Cheyenne Indians in Wyoming during the 1870s. The mission is threatened when a civilian surveyor befriends the chief's son and falls for the chief's daughter. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 February 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Challenge  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,125,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To "show the white feather" is considered, in many places, to show cowardice. In others is a sign of high respect and, in still others, it serves the same purpose as a white flag of truce. See more »

Goofs

The first time Little Dog (Jeffrey Hunter) and his party encounter Tanner (Robert Wagner), they are armed with repeating carbines. On all later occasions, they have bows until the very end when the rifles appear again. See more »

Quotes

Magruder: Get that squaw out of here!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chappaqua (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
WHITE FEATHER (Robert D. Webb, 1955) **1/2
7 November 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is one of a number of 1950s Westerns which attempted to redress the balance by painting a fairly sympathetic view of the American Indian; even so, to spice up proceedings, we get a couple of rebels (second lead Jeffrey Hunter among them) opposing the impending peace treaty offered by the white man. Incidentally, though inspired by a factual incident, the film's plot line basically mingles elements from two contemporary examples of the genre – BROKEN ARROW (1950; whose director, Delmer Daves, contributed to the script of this one) and ARROWHEAD (1953). With this in mind, the film doesn't really bring anything new to the table – but, made with consummate Hollywood professionalism, the result is undeniably entertaining nonetheless.

Casting is adequate, too: apart from the afore-mentioned Hunter (though not exactly convincing as a redskin), we get Robert Wagner as an all-too-young Government agent hero who mediates between the two parties, Debra Paget (in a virtual reprise of her BROKEN ARROW role and who eventually defies her people by eloping with Wagner), John Lund as the experienced Cavalry officer in charge, Eduard Franz as Hunter's dignified chieftain father, Hugh O'Brian (as with Peter Graves in the same director's BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF [1953], a viewing of which preceded this one, he's the heroine's brash but unloved intended), Virginia Leith as a more mature secondary love interest for Wagner, and Emile Meyer as her racist storekeeper father. By the way, I've just taped the first cinematic adaptation of Ira Levin's thrller A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956) off Cable TV – which I noticed shares a remarkable number of cast and crew members with the title under review (not least its hunky stars)!

Being a largely outdoor film and in order to supply the appropriate grandeur, Lucien Ballard's widescreen photography is rather frustratingly limited to long or medium shots – which, when screened on a normal-sized TV set, unfortunately leads to a certain detachment on the viewer's part; by the way, in the accompanying poster gallery on the DVD, the fact that patrons would be watching a "Cinemascope" production was deemed a bigger draw than even the stars involved! The film culminates with an unusual sort of showdown as Hunter and O'Brian face an entire cavalry unit (apparently an Indian battle custom which explains the film's title) – however, the duo's come-uppance sees the personal intervention of Franz, who's not pleased with their 'brave' gesture; this is then followed by a lengthy (and, I'd even say, unwarranted) scene in which Wagner meticulously prepares Hunter for burial.

The Fox DVD includes quite a nice assortment of extras: these include a reproduction of the original pressbook (filled with amusingly irrelevant ballyhoo), a reasonably comprehensive photo gallery, and a number of trailers for the studio's other catalog entries in the genre (among them the desirable Victor Mature vehicle FURY AT FURNACE CREEK [1948] – surprisingly narrated and carrying the personal endorsement of none other than Gregory Peck! – and latterday black-and-white potboiler CONVICT STAGE [1965], which I'd never heard of myself and can't fathom why it was even deemed worthy of a DVD release).


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