When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ...
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Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »
When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his life and is wanted for the murder of three men. Written by
Average Shot Length = ~6.7 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~6.1 seconds. Both values are fast for a reasonably early CinemaScope film. See more »
During the last third of the film, Tommy Rettig's hair goes from being long and fair, with a fringe, to being short and dark and brushed back and then back again on two occasions. See more »
[after capturing Todd, Sheriff Harper offers to join Colonel Normand's wagon train]
He's safe in your custody, I suppose. It's just that we got women and children with us.
Sheriff Bull Harper:
He'll be safe. The first time he don't look safe, he'll get dead.
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Opening credits prologue: 1873 Arizona Territory See more »
Thankfully, this western is a bit different and a bit more to offer...
This film begins with Richard Widmark being chased by a posse. In the process, Widmark kills several of the deputies until he is ultimately captured. The sheriff (along with Widmark) soon meets up with a wagon train and tags along with them until he can get his prisoner back to town for a proper hanging. As for why Widmark did all these nasty murders, he is supposedly part Comanche (he sure doesn't look it--that's because he was a white orphan raised by the tribe) and has a total disregard for society--and somehow this entitles him to kill with abandon.
Problems soon develop with the settlers. They are devout people and can't stand the way the sheriff takes pleasure in tormenting Widmark (who is now handcuffed to a wagon wheel). What happens next with Widmark and the sheriff is something you'll need to see for yourself.
Soon another parallel story begins as well. One of the ladies in the wagon train is angry because her father was previously married to an American-Indian and she has a half-sister as a result. There is obviously much hatred of the 'half-breed' sister and the racist feelings the white sister feels is a parallel to the story of Widmark. Occasionally this tension seems a bit overdone--especially since you'd think the angry white sister would have come to terms with her half-sister and the white settlers would get tired of using words like 'savage' so much. Subtle its message ain't and the one young lady in particular plays a character too unlikable and annoying to be real--the one and only real deficit in an otherwise good film.
Unfortunately for the wagon train, the land they eventually enter is Indian land. Soon, it appears that the Indians are angry about their land being invaded and it appears that all of the settlers' lives are about to be snuffed. At this point, the tables are turned and it's up to the cold-blooded killer, Widmark, to save the day--escorting the survivors to safety and teaching them to live off the land like natives.
By the way, as you watch Widmark chained to the wagon wheel and doing some stunts as well while connected to the wheel, you are impressed by how much he was willing to do for this role. Occasionally, you assume it's a stuntman doing some of the scenes but in many cases it is clearly Widmark being tossed about in this very uncomfortable manner. What a guy...and what a good film.
Overall, a very good film that is worth watching for its fine performance by Richard Widmark as well as an interesting and thought-provoking script. As I already said, the story isn't always subtle nor are a few of the characters, but it still is an earnest and enjoyable flick.
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