During the Indian Wars in the Southwest, a sergeant assumes command of a cavalry detachment after it is mauled in an Apache ambush that killed its captain and seriously wounded its lieutenant. The surviving troopers must reach either a larger cavalry column or a wagon train the column is to escort. But first they need water and the nearest water hole is in Apache hands.... Written by
[Vinson's cavalry patrol hurriedly buries a dead trooper]
Collins, that deep enough. Roll him in and cover him up. Let's move!
You mean without reading the Good Book?
If he needs our help to make it upstairs, he's in worse shape than he looks.
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A good Western with McCrea as an army sergeant with a severe chip on his shoulder -- his family was killed by American Indians. When the detachment he serves in is attacked, all his superiors are killed and he has to take command of the survivors -- who believe his bigotry will lead them into confrontations which are unnecessary.
McCrea is very good at playing the sergeant as a kind of ruined idealist, beating Wayne at his own game. He has a good rapport with Russell, who plays a man more or less in between the two factions -- he's attached to his sergeant, but can see that his hatred may lead them into danger. Cabot also appears as a native woman, but is not given much to do except be the unwarranted object of McCrea's hatred and suspicions.
A satisfying action film with a strong anti-racist message.
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