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Murphy deserts the Union Army to warn former Texas neighbors of impending Indian attacks triggered by Army massacre. He overcomes initial distrust and convinces the homesteaders (all women whose men are away fighting in the Confederate Army) to take refuge in an abandoned mission. He trains them to fight and shoot in anticipation of the attack. The only other man at the mission runs away o save his scalp and ends up leading the Indians back to the mission. Surrounded and outnumbered, the defenders prepare for the final assault.. Written by
Alamo, Rorke's Drift, only with lots of cool women!
Lt. Frank Hewitt absconds from the Union Army to warn fellow Texans that Indian attacks are inevitable due to a massacre at Sand Creek. What he finds is that all the men are away fighting in the Confederate Army so the homesteaders are mainly made up of women. Having to first earn their respect and trust, he convinces them to prepare for an Indian attack at a dilapidated mission station, teaching the majority of them to shoot and fend for themselves in hand to hand combat. Badly outnumbered when the day comes, it will take more than the hand of god to stop this from being another massacre to further darken the South.
What an absolute blast this picture is, for sure it's steeped in B movie traditions, but led by the amiable Audie Murphy as Hewitt, the picture is certainly most engaging and never lets the discerning viewer down. Perhaps struggling to shake off the need to be overtly serious, it is none the less dramatic at times and not without serious moments that put the ladies of the piece firmly in a good light. It's not a feminist picture of course because the characters still need their men to be with them, Hewitt naturally creates a little pitter-patter amongst some of the women, what the picture chiefly portrays is that these gals can step up to the plate when required, and more crucially, the film doesn't rely on sentimentality to raise the picture's worth.
Kathryn Grant (soon to me Mrs Bing Crosby), Hope Emerson, Jeanette Nolan, Peggy Maley and Patricia Tiernan are just some of the female cast that make this a hugely enjoyable picture. From the intriguing training sequences as Hewitt gets tough with the gals, to the thrilling rush of the Indian attack on the mission, The Guns Of Fort Petticoat is a very enjoyable Western that most certainly doesn't waste the time of the viewer. 7/10
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