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 ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Trooper Hook is directed by Charles Marquis Warren and collectively written by David Victor, Jack Schaefer and Herbert Little Jr. It stars Joel McCrea, Barbara Stanwyck, Earl Holliman, Royal Dano and Rudolfo Acosta. Music is by Gerald Fried, with theme tune song by Tex Ritter, and cinematography is by Ellsworth Fredericks.
Upon capturing a band of marauding Apaches, Cavalry Sergeant Clovis Hook (McCrea) finds a white woman amongst the group. Cora Sutliff (Stanwyck) was taken by the Apache years ago and became the squaw of their leader, Nanchez (Acosta), she also bore him a child, Quito (Terry Lawrence). The army decides to reunite Cora with her white husband and charge Hook with delivering both her and Quito safely across country to the Sutliff homestead...
Splendid cast is assembled for this black and white Oater that is more about racism and the problems of inter-racial relations in the Old West, than it is a Cavalry Vs Indians shoot 'em up. Story essentially follows a stagecoach travelling across country that finds Hook, Cora and Quito encountering all manner of characters along the way, most of whom are racist. While of course there is the small matter of the Apache being on their tail as well.
Hook is a grizzled old badger, orders are orders, regardless of if he had any sort of objections to his mission, he's there to keep order and see the job through. For various reasons, everyone on the journey will be looking to him for action and decisions, not least Cora and Quito who begin to form a warm relationship with him. It of course builds to a head once the Apache come back onto the scene, and there's the issue of if Cora's husband will accept her and her half-breed son into his life?
It's very competently performed, and with the exception of some of the lower budget aspects of the production, it's well crafted by Warren. Unfortunately the writing doesn't always give the outside characters a quality of script befitting the themes of the story. Hook and Cora get some good back story, she in explanation of her captivity and he with his rueful recollections as a prisoner of the Civil War. While Holliman is served well as a genial cowpoke and Dano as the crotchety stagecoach driver is great fun.
Coming as it did post far better movies that dealt with prejudice themes in the Indian Wars, it feels like a coat tail grabber, and a watered down offering at that. That it's still a worthy viewing experience comes down to the work of a committed set of lead actors. 6.5/10
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