MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,564 this week

Pillars of the Sky (1956)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  12 October 1956 (USA)
6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 281 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Will Henry)
0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 29 titles
created 20 Feb 2012
 
a list of 258 titles
created 09 Jun 2013
 
a list of 1557 titles
created 02 Dec 2013
 
a list of 138 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 5825 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Pillars of the Sky (1956)

Pillars of the Sky (1956) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Pillars of the Sky.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former sheriff blames himself for his wife's death during a Wells Fargo robbery and vows to track down and kill the seven men responsible.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Gail Russell, Lee Marvin
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A former spy moves to Arizona to join a gold robbery, but when he gets there decides that it's not for him and tries to change his life.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Joan Weldon
Backlash (1956)
Mystery | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Jim Slater seeks a survivor of the Apache ambush his father died in.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, William Campbell
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marshal Tyrone and the Silver Kid form an uneasy alliance against a gang of claim jumpers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Audie Murphy, Faith Domergue, Stephen McNally
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Before the U.S. Civil War rebel leader Luke Darcy sees himself as leader of a new independent Republic of Kansas but the military governor sends an ex-raider to capture Darcy.

Director: Melvin Frank
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Fess Parker, Nicole Maurey
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Virgil Renchler owns most of the town providing a thriving economy. When his men go to far and kill one of his migrant workmen, the sheriff goes after him even if it means his job and everyone else's.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Orson Welles, Colleen Miller
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

When peacemaking Apache chief Cochise dies, the Chiricahua Apaches are torn between following Cochise's peace loving son Taza and following the warlike renegade Apache warrior Geronimo.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Gregg Palmer
Dog Day (1984)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A fugitive on the run from the law and carrying several million dollars hides out in the house of a farm family. The tables turn when the family turns out to be even more criminally ... See full summary »

Director: Yves Boisset
Stars: Lee Marvin, Miou-Miou, Jean Carmet
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian nations, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. Only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.

Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Lund, Jeff Chandler, Susan Cabot
Seminole (1953)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A calvary Lt. on trial for murder, recounts his efforts make peace with the Siminole Indian tribe, under an evil major.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Rock Hudson, Barbara Hale, Anthony Quinn
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During the Korean War Lt. Sam Pryor volunteers his platoon to escort Greek troops to perform a reconnaissance mission behind Communist lines. Due to his Greek heritage Pryor is initially ... See full summary »

Director: Robert D. Webb
Stars: Victor Mature, Alexander Scourby, Lee Marvin
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Stanley Kramer's WW-II character study has Lee Marvin as the Sergeant of a small squad laid over during fighting in Italy. During the otherwise boring time between battles, tensions arise ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Bonar Colleano, Arthur Franz, Lee Marvin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Calla Gaxton
...
Dr. Joseph Holden
Keith Andes ...
Capt. Tom Gaxton
...
Sgt. Lloyd Carracart
...
Timothy
...
Col. Edson Stedlow
...
Kamiakin
Olive Carey ...
Mrs. Anne Avery
Charles Horvath ...
Sgt. Dutch Williams
Orlando Rodriguez ...
Malachi
Glen Kramer ...
Lt. Winston
Floyd Simmons ...
Lt. Hammond
Pat Hogan ...
Jacob
Felix Noriego ...
Lucas
Edit

Storyline

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 <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a people's faith and the courage of a man they called Godless!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 October 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dem Tode entronnen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the few westerns where the Indians actually ride bareback or on blankets instead of a blanket over the saddle. See more »

Goofs

When Sgt Bell goes to the tent for a drink of whiskey and Sgt Carrracart tells him the still is small, Sgt Bell leaves and Sgt Carracart takes a drink from a canteen. The canteen is a Scout model made of Aluminum and not available until the 1900's. See more »

Connections

Featured in Cuba (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Thing
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Milton Rosen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The pillars of the sky Doc, they were sacred to the tribes long before you came with the word of God.
10 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Pillars of the Sky (AKA: The Tomahawk and the Cross) is directed by George Marshall and adapted to screenplay by Sam Rolfe from the novels "Frontier Fury" & "To Follow a Flag" written by Will Henry. It stars Jeff Chandler, Ward Bond, Dorothy Malone, Keith Andes and Lee Marvin. A Technicolor/CinemaScope production, photography is by Harold Lipstein and music is by Joseph Gershenson.

Oregon County 1868, and the Native Indian tribes have been shunted on to government sanctioned reservations. As the U.S. troops arrive to lay the roads through Indian territory for new settlers, the Indian chiefs decide to fight back. Led by Chief Kamiakin (Michael Ansara), the Indians attack leaving the army short on numbers, all that's left is a small band of soldiers and some civilians. Can they survive on guts and religious comfort alone?

It was originally intended to be made with John Ford directing and John Wayne starring, but come 1956 the pair were unable to commit to the production. They had another Western to make that year, The Searchers! Plot is familiar for Pillars of the Sky, but the even handed portrayal of the Indians and a pro-Christian bent in the narrative, lifts it out of the ordinary. Picture is further boosted by some excellent action sequences that are skilfully crafted by director Marshall (Destry Rides Again/How the West Was Won). Indian attacks, via horseback or flaming arrows assault, considerably raise the pulse, while the sight of the army desperately trying to conquer the rocky terrain while under attack is a bona fide piece of Oater grit. With the exteriors actually filmed on location in Oregon at Joseph & La Grande, the backdrop is gorgeous, expertly brought to life in Technicolor "Scope" by Lipstein (No Name on the Bullet/Von Ryan's Express). While Gershenson (Horizons West/The Man from the Alamo) scores it with genre compliant riffs on Cavalry marches and Indian flavouring.

That it isn't better known or thought of higher comes down to a so so set of acting performances and a pointless love triangle that pads the picture out with boorish periods of chat. Malone, looking beautiful as per usual in colour, is basically a token character, who serves only to be a romantic interest that causes friction between Chandler and Andes. In fact her dialogue is minimal. Marvin has only a small role, and he offers up a quite poor Irish accent as well, while Andes fails to convince. Chandler does cut a decent rugged figure, portraying First Sergeant Emmett Bell as a man you would fight alongside, but it's a performance that lacks charisma, something that Duke Wayne no doubt would have brought to the role. It's left to Bond to take the acting honours, where in an unusually restrained role for him as strongly Christian Dr. Joseph Holden, he gives good value for money as he plays it out with stoic nobility.

With a great DVD transfer and the correct aspect ratio used, the film looks absolutely terrific. It has flaws for sure, but it comes easily recommended to the Western fan. 7/10


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
pillars of the sky hennie1958
Discuss Pillars of the Sky (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?