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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
Audie Murphy calls his posse of women, his 'men'; they're armed, laid up in a sort of fortified mission and awaiting Indian attack after a reprisal.
Lt. Frank Hewitt, (Murphy) is an Army deserter and on the run, back to his home in Texas. He has refused to take part in an attack on Indians at Sand Creek but when said Indians are out for revenge for the attack, he chances upon this ramshackle group of women and children.
Much of the (shortish) film is taken up by trying to prepare the women for imminent battle. Giving them firing practice with rifles and generally a battle of wits and the sexes as he has to bully and cajole them into new thinking and tactics. Hope Emerson, at 6'2" and 230 pounds, a formidable lady by any standards takes to the challenge with gusto and enthusiasm, whilst others, especially ones with strong religious beliefs cannot abhor fighting and don't so easily, whilst Kathryn Grant, a young feisty woman, becomes romantically entwined with Frank Hewitt.
It's quite a good film and quite likable. There's good comarderie and dialogue and some neat action scenes when they come. However, Audie Murphy never really struck with me, his persona, or perceived one always seeming a little bland. He looks just too boyish and sweet to be bossing these women around, whereas someone with more gravitas and snarl would make for a more interesting film.
That's just a personal view and I know Audie Murphy has his fans out there, too.
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