After serving a five year prison sentence for allowing his men to destroy a town in a drunken spree, a trail boss is hired by the same town's leading citizen to drive their cattle to Fort ... See full summary »
Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
After a band of Indians kill a group of soldiers, Sergeant Hook captures them and their leader Nanches. Among the prisoners is Nanches' son and the boy's white mother captured by them nine years earlier. Hook's assignment is to escort the mother and son to the woman's husband. Traveling by stagecoach they learn that Nanches has escaped and it's not long before he and his warriors show up intent on reclaiming the boy. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Film debut of producer Sol Baer Fielding in a small role as a cavalryman. See more »
If Cora/Barbara Stanwyck had lice, the reason given for her cropped hair, her son would have had lice, too, due to all the direct contact between them. Probably, half the tribe (at least) would have contracted lice, and yet she was the only one with the cropped hair. See more »
One of Joel McCrea's better westerns is Trooper Hook the story of a man given a mission to deliver a recent captive of the Indians back to her family.
This is no ordinary captive. Barbara Stanwyck has been with the Apaches for several years and has been the squaw of Chief Rudolfo Acosta and has had a son by him. After an a raid on Acosta's village she's discovered by the cavalry and identified. She and her little boy are taken to the fort and McCrea is given the assignment of taking her back to husband John Dehner. But this is going to prove a difficult journey on many levels.
Had Trooper Hook been directed by someone like John Ford it would have gotten far more acclaim than it did. There are elements of Ford's Stagecoach, The Searchers and Two Rode Together in Trooper Hook. And Rudolfo Acosta as Chief Natchez seems to be continuing the part he played in Hondo.
One thing I've always liked about westerns they certainly give the more mature among us the chance to be heroes. And the movies never had a better straight arrow hero than Joel McCrea. It's mentioned he's a career soldier and 47 years old. He needs every bit of that experience for the job at hand.
Stanwyck has a tough road to hoe in this film. A lot of very self righteous people wonder why she just didn't kill herself rather than submit to Acosta. McCrea understands however, the scene where he tells her of his experience in Andersonville prison during the Civil War is the most effective in the film.
Lots of western regulars fill out the supporting roles. In addition to those mentioned look for Earl Holliman as the sympathetic young cowboy who hitches a ride on the stagecoach, Celia Lovsky and Susan Kohner as grandmother and granddaughter, Edward Andrews as a sniveling rat who will make your skin crawl, and Royal Dano as the stage driver.
Rape, Illegitimate birth, Miscegenation and kidnapping were usually not subjects for the Saturday afternoon kiddie crowd who saw westerns. But the Fifties was the decade of the adult western and Trooper Hook is a prime example. In fact on her Big Valley television series, Stanwyck had a similar story line with Michael Burns about a young boy who was born to a white woman captive and later returns to white society. Only the story was from the kid's point of view.
Trooper Hook is the sixth and last film Joel McCrea and Barbara Stanwyck made. It might very well be the best of them. Though director Charles Marquis Warren was obviously influenced by John Ford, I doubt very much if Ford himself could have done a better job. Trooper Hook is an undiscovered masterpiece in need of reevaluation.
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