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 65% 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:
12 October 1956 (USA) 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 »
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User Reviews:
Pretty good western chronicles a strong fight between the Indian tribes and the US cavalry in Oregon territory 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
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 »
Miscellaneous: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Cuba (1979)See more »
Link o' DaySee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Pretty good western chronicles a strong fight between the Indian tribes and the US cavalry in Oregon territory, 23 March 2017
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain

This is the story of Sgt. Emmet Bell (Jeff Chandler) who found his weakness in the arms of another man's woman (Dorothy Malone) and his strength in the power of another man's God . In Oregon Country , 1868 , numerous tribes of Native Americans with Biblic and Evangelist names have been placed on a reservation north of the Snake River . Here a priest called Holden (War Bond) , has constructed a church , and many of the tribes have accepted Christianity and Christian names such as Samuel , Aaron , Abraham , Jacob ; in fact , the three Indian chiefs hold Christian names : Elias , Isaias and Zacarias . But the White Men are building a bridge that across the river to Indian territory to areas north . When the cavalry, under the command of Col. Stedlow (Willis Bouchey) and Capt. Tom Gaxton (Keith Andes) arrive they intend to make peace but the tribal chiefs feel their treaty has been violated . As the cavalry column advances into the reservation , Kamiakin (Michael Ansara) carries out razzias against the US Cavalry and settlements .

A-Universal-International-Picture gets Western action , shootouts , a triangular love story , breathtaking Indian raids on Yankees regiments and results to be quite entertaining . This moving movie is an epic portrait of the thrilling story about several tribal chiefs decide to unite their forces against the trespassing whites who open a road across the reservation and are building a bridge crossing their lands . It's a medium budget film with good actors , technicians , production values and pleasing results . At the ending , when takes place the Indian assault , possesses all the sweep , grandeur and noisy action of the greatest Westerns of an age long past . The picture contains spectacular charges of Indian riders , including an overwhelming final when the US soldiers are besieged at a church turned into a strongly defended fort . Nice acting from a great cast . As Jeff Chandler is good as a honorable and Cristian Sergeant who is in charge of maintaining order and attempts to keep the peace between US cavalry and Indians . Chandler gives stature to the role , providing sincerity and bravura . Chandler was famous , until his early death , for playing Indian chief Cochise , a dignified portrait well shown in : ¨Broken arrow¨ , ¨Battle of Apache Pass¨ and ¨Taza , son of Cochise¨ . Although Chandler also played all kinds of genres , such as : ¨Return to Peyton Place¨(drama) , ¨Flame of Araby¨ (adventure) , ¨Merrill's marauders¨ (wartime , in his last film) , until his early death at 42-year-old . Dorothy Malone as gorgeous and pleasant wife , proves to be a great actress , as usual . And support cast is frankly excellent , such as : Ward Bond , Keith Andes , Lee Marvin , Sydney Chaplin, Olive Carey and special mention for the veteran Willis Bouchey as well as Michael Ansara as violent Indian chief vowing to lead the tribes in battle against the encroaching white men . This exciting and stirring Western was beautifully photographed in Cinemascope , print in Technicolor by Harold Lipstein , Universal's ordinary cameraman. And an original and shining score from William Lava and Heinz Roemheld , though uncredited .

This motion picture was professionally directed by George Marshall in colorful style , though has a few flaws . He realized a great number of films , especially Westerns . His first Western was ¨Wild Gold¨(1934) and he subsequently directed ¨Destry rides again¨ with James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich in which years later he would make a remake titled ¨Frenchie¨ with Audie Murphy and Marie Blanchard . As George Marshal introduces hilarious elements and amusement in his Westerns , such as ¨Texas¨ , ¨Fancy pants¨, ¨Advance to the rear¨, and also directs Musical Westerns as ¨Red Garters¨ and ¨The second greatest sex¨ . Being particularly known for his co-direction of the epic Western ¨How the west was won¨ along with Henry Hathaway and John Ford .

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