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The Last Frontier (1955)

Approved | | History, Romance, Western | 1955 (UK)
Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jed Cooper
...
Captain Glenn Riordan
...
Col. Frank Marston
...
Gus
...
Corinna Marston
...
Captain Phil Clarke
Peter Whitney ...
Sergeant Major Decker
Pat Hogan ...
Mungo
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Storyline

Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the idea of leading a more settled life, decides he needs a woman to start the process, and selects Corinna Marston, the beautiful young wife of Colonel Marston, commander of the next fort down the line. Marston arrives and announces to commanding officer Captain Riordan that he has lost his fort and most of his men to an Indian attack and that he, as ranking officer, is assuming command. Riordan, a young, but sensible officer, is outraged when he learns that Marston, posted out west for having lost his 1500-man command during a Civil War battle, has ordered the entire fort's complement, totally unprepared for combat and outnumbered, to march out against experienced Indian warriors. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

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Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

1955 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Savage Wilderness  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious, and any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional. See more »

Goofs

The Colonel takes over the Captain's command without any orders after he loses his own. The Captain even mentions it once, but is casually dismissed by the Colonel since he is the Captain's superior officer. It has never worked that way in the Army, a superior officer cannot take over a junior officer's command without official orders, and if he tries to, the junior officer and his staff have every right to place the superior officer under arrest, especially if he endangers the entire command (and given that the Colonel has twice lost entire commands, this is not an unrealistic danger). See more »

Quotes

[a band of heretofore friendly Indians have just taken the trappers' rifles and furs]
Jed Cooper: We never fished nor killed any more than we could eat. And we're not Blue Coats. Why are they taking it out on us?
Gus: Civilization.
Jed Cooper: Civilization?
Gus: Civilization is creepin' up on us, lads. The Blue Coats aren't satisfied with gobblin' up all the lands east of the 'Sippi. No, they won't stop till they've pushed us over the Rockies and into the Pacific Ocean. It's a drownin' fate that awaits us all. These are ...
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Soundtracks

Me and My Dreams
(uncredited)
Written by Morris Stoloff, Fred Karger, Allan Roberts and Lester Lee
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User Reviews

 
Civilization and Its Malcontents
28 July 2011 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

Victor Mature plays Jed Cooper, a rough-and-tumble mountain man, ostensibly in need of a few social graces, who, along with his two companions, is hired on as a civilian guide at the local army installation, a fort on the edge of nowhere. He wants two things: a soldier's uniform, and commander Col. Frank Marsden's wife, Corinna (a blonde Anne Bancroft). She isn't altogether turned off. Her husband has been shuffled as far west as possible by the Army to escape his quaint reputation as the "butcher of Shiloh". A sizable native army, just beyond the fort, is waiting. Marsden dismisses them as stupid savages with no concept of military strategy, then falls into one of their bear traps.

"The Last Frontier" is about civilization and what it means to be civilized. Jed is an outsider and he wants to belong. For him, to be civilized is to wear a uniform and to attain domesticity. He grapples hard with this civilization thing and learns that there are some confounding complexities. Col. Marsden flaunts the veneer of civilization, but he's a rule-toting bully.

I've probably said too much already, but I love the dry, adult westerns of Anthony Mann. For all his tackling of a complex theme Mann doesn't forget the action scenes. The climactic Indian attack is exciting, with the dust that's whipped up providing a nice visual touch, and Jed's one-on-one fight with a Marsden flunkie is raw and brutal. The fort in this movie appears to be authentic and detailed, and we get to see its layout. Victor Mature's performance as a rough frontiersman is well realized and convincing, a far cry from the oiled-up Samson wrestling a stuffed lion in a certain Cecil B. De Mille soaper. A special nod to Guy Madison for his portrayal of a sane, all-round nice guy. This is hardly a "lesser" Mann picture. It's up there among his best.


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