Lionel Newman's strident Indian theme over the titles immediately sets the tone for the adventure that is to follow. Richard Widmark - sporting the colourful name of Comanche Todd - plays a wrongly accused outlaw guiding a group of teenagers across hostile Indian country after their folks have been massacred by Apaches. Widmark is terrific in the part, bringing to his role a palpable authenticity and hard bitten realism. It is one of his great he-man outdoor action roles and not unlike the part he played the same year in "Run For The Sun" (itself a splendid reworking of "The Most Dangerous Game"). The supporting cast are excellent. George Mathews as the unsavoury and brutish sheriff, Douglas Kennedy as the upright Wagonmaster, the beautiful Susan Kohner (whatever happened to?),as his half breed daughter, Stephenie Griffin as her bigoted sister, Ray Stricklyn, the ill-fated Nick Adams and Tommy Rettig as the young brother of the film's leading lady the lovely Felicia Farr. Trivia fans will no doubt remember the ill-fated Rettig played Widmark's eight year old son in Kazan's brilliant "Panic In The Streets" six years earlier. Also in the cast is a young James Drury as a cavalry officer in one of his early Pre "Virginian" roles.
The DVD looks gorgeous! With glowing colour, well defined sharp as a button images and the Cinemascope camera of Wilfrid Cline taking full advantage of those eye-catching backdrops (the incredible red rock locations at Sedona, Arizona). And not forgetting the wonderful score by Lionel Newman which is probably the best thing this younger brother of the great Alfred Newman ever did. Extras include a good trailer and a couple of photo galleries. A must for the collection of every western and every Widmark fan.
Typical line from Widmark - referring to the Nick Adams character.... "We've got six bullets and that idiot uses up three of them on a stinkin' rattler you could kill with a stick". Great Stuff!