In Oregon Country, 1868, several tribes of Native Americans have been placed on a reservation north of the Snake River. Here Doctor Holden has built a church, and many of the tribes have ... See full summary »
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In Oregon Country, 1868, several tribes of Native Americans have been placed on a reservation north of the Snake River. Here Doctor Holden has built a church, and many of the tribes have accepted Christianity and Christian names. Sgt. Emmett Bell is in charge of maintaining order here. When the cavalry, under the command of Col. Stedlow, arrives, building a bridge across the river and intending to open a road across the reservation to areas north, some of the tribal chiefs feel their treaty has been violated. As the cavalry column advances into the reservation, Kamiakin vows to lead the tribes in battle against the encroaching white men. Written by
Jeff Hole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the few westerns where the Indians actually ride bareback or on blankets instead of a blanket over the saddle. See more »
During the big battle the Colonel orders that cannon #1 be fired. When fired the cannon did not show any recoil. The force of the firing should have sent the cannon back on its wheels a bit. When Cannon #2 was fired there was too much smoke to say it did not recoil. See more »
Routine cavalry vs. Indians fighting over broken treaty...
Slow-paced story gets off to a ponderous start with too much talk and too little action, with only some gorgeous scenery for eye comfort. The fault seems to be George Marshall's sluggish direction of a uniformly bland cast.
All of the actors go through their paces in rather standard roles, including JEFF CHANDLER, KEITH ANDES, WARD BOND and LEE MARVIN and for a western that promises some action when the plot thickens, it's a good half-hour before the conflict between cavalry and Indians provides any thrills.
DOROTHY MALONE has the only substantial female role, as a woman no longer in love with her husband. In make-up and hairstyle, she looks and acts more as though she's a woman of modern times rather than frontier days. The romantic triangle (Malone, Chandler, Andes) is a weak one.
The big set piece is the Indian attack that occurs an hour into the film and wipes out most of the command. It's well staged and vigorously mounted for western action. But it comes too late to alter the slow pacing of most of the story which is either Marshall's or the scriptwriter's fault.
A minor quibble: All of the night scenes have a soundstage look to them, in sharp contrast to all the daytime locations.
Summing up: Lackluster western needed the John Ford touch from George Marshall, with Lee Marvin and his Irish accent less than credible in the sort of supporting role Victor McLaglen usually played. Nothing more than average.
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