IMDb > Pillars of the Sky (1956)
Pillars of the Sky
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Pillars of the Sky (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sam Rolfe (screenplay)
Heck Allen (novel)
View company contact information for Pillars of the Sky on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 October 1956 (West Germany) See more »
The story of a people's faith and the courage of a man they called Godless!
In 1868 Oregon, when the Army violates the treaty by building a road across the reservation, several tribal chiefs decide to unite their forces against the trespassing whites. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"He Gave You His God" See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeff Chandler ... First Sgt. Emmett Bell

Dorothy Malone ... Calla Gaxton

Ward Bond ... Dr. Joseph Holden

Keith Andes ... Capt. Tom Gaxton

Lee Marvin ... Sgt. Lloyd Carracart

Sydney Chaplin ... Timothy

Willis Bouchey ... Col. Edson Stedlow

Michael Ansara ... 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

Paul Smith ... Morgan

Martin Milner ... Waco

Robert Ellis ... Albie

Ralph Votrian ... Music (as Ralph J Votrian)

Walter Coy ... Maj. Donahue

Alberto Morin ... Sgt. Maj. Frenchy Desmonde

Richard Hale ... Isaiah

Frank DeKova ... Zachariah (as Frank de Kova)

Terry Wilson ... Capt. Fanning
Philip Kieffer ... Maj. Randall
Gilbert Conner ... Elijah
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Beulah Archuletta ... Indian Woman (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Soldier (uncredited)
Bob Herron ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Maureen Hingert ... Indian Woman (uncredited)
Bryson G. Liberty ... Warrior at the Mission (uncredited)

Directed by
George Marshall 
Writing credits
Sam Rolfe (screenplay)

Heck Allen (novel "Frontier Fury") (as Will Henry)

Produced by
Robert Arthur .... producer
Original Music by
William Lava (uncredited)
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Harold Lipstein (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Milton Carruth 
Art Direction by
Alexander Golitzen 
Bill Newberry 
Set Decoration by
Oliver Emert 
Russell A. Gausman 
Costume Design by
Rosemary Odell 
Makeup Department
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Tom Shaw .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marshall Green .... assistant director
Ray DeCamp .... assistant director (uncredited)
Terence Nelson .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Frank H. Wilkinson .... sound
David Janssen .... looping (uncredited)
Polly Burson .... stunt double: Dorothy Malone (uncredited)
Fred Carson .... stunt double (uncredited)
Charles Horvath .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Terhune .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervisor
Ethmer Roten .... musician: flute (uncredited)
Other crew
William Fritzsche .... technicolor color consultant
Luanna Sherman .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min | 110 min (TCM print)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)
Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | USA:Approved (certificate #17682) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

One of the few westerns where the Indians actually ride bareback or on blankets instead of a blanket over the saddle.See more »
Anachronisms: When Sgt. Bell goes to the tent for a drink of whiskey and Sgt. Carrracart tells him the still is small, Bell leaves and Carracart takes a drink from a canteen. The canteen is a Scout model made of aluminum and was not available until the 1900s.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Cuba (1979)See more »
Link o' DaySee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
"He Gave You His God", 20 August 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Pillars of the Sky is an unusual western in that it touches on the role of Christian missionaries in the American West. This film also gives Ward Bond one of the most unusual roles he ever had in his career.

Bond plays a Christian missionary preacher/doctor in the Pacific Northwest region. There is still considerable debate among historians as to what they accomplished. It was thought at the time that the conquered Indian tribes would be more humanely treated under preachers than soldiers. There is no doubt that missionaries, not only in the American west, but in other parts of the world colonized by the west, probably saved indigent peoples from some acts of barbarism.

Whether though, even with the best of intentions, they had the right to destroy a culture is very much open to debate. And Bond is a man with the best of intentions even as he baptizes the Indians giving them names found in the Bible.

One Indian who isn't having any of it is Michael Ansara who's rousing all the tribes to resist the building of a new army post in their territory. But Colonel Willis Bouchey has his orders and Bond is caught in the middle.

Another trio caught in the middle is Captain Keith Andes, his wife Dorothy Malone, and Sergeant Jeff Chandler who Malone was previously engaged to. Malone and Olive Carey are captured by Ansara's bunch and Chandler rescues them. This little romantic subplot is exactly what the cavalry doesn't need as Ansara's band is on the hunt for them.

Pillars of the Sky was filmed on location in the Pacific Northwest and the photography is first rate. And the Indian attacks are well staged by some very smart Indians. Ansara is a cunning and ruthless foe.

It also succeeds in making you admire the courage of our cavalry in carrying out their orders though in fact they are in clear treaty violation. One of the best roles in the film is that of Lee Marvin, an army veteran from the Civil War who is giving the green troops some lessons for survival in a hurry.

I did find it a bit much the end Jeff Chandler has in store for him and I think most viewers will also. As Chandler said, Bond may have given the Indians the priceless gift of his God, but was the cost worth it?

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