When a handful of settlers survive an Apache attack on their wagon train they must put their lives into the hands of Comanche Todd, a white man who has lived with the Comanches most of his ... See full summary »
Clarence Reid is a musician who wrote and produced romantic and spiritual songs for some of the greatest Southern soul and R&B acts of the 1960s and '70s. He is also the gonzo performer ... See full summary »
After Pardon Chato, a mestizo, kills a US marshal in self-defense, a posse pursues him, but as the white volunteers advance deep in Indian territory they become more prey than hunters, ... See full summary »
Most people know the lasting legacy of Harry Belafonte, the entertainer. This film unearths his significant contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and to social justice globally.
Shortly before the start of the American Civil War rebel Kansas leader Luke Darcy dreams of a new independent Republic of Kansas. His vigilante group is called The Jayhawkers and their mission is to end slavery by force. However, Darcy uses The Jayhawkers for his own bid for absolute control of Kansas. Darcy's actions do not sit well with the military governor of Kansas, William Clayton, who wants Darcy captured and brought to justice. For this purpose the governor hires an ex-renegade rebel, Cam Bleeker, to join Darcy's group and capture their leader. Bleeker has a personal reason for wanting to see Darcy hanged. Darcy was responsible for Bleeker wife's death while Bleeker was in prison. Written by
Several references in the movie are made about "Missouri Redlegs." The paramilitary unit known as the "Redlegs" were actually formed of Kansas men, and were also called "Jayhawkers." The Missouri raiders that came into Kansas were called "Bushwhackers." See more »
Plot-- An ex-renegade (Parker) agrees to infiltrate a renegade band in return for a pardon from the feds. Then too, he's got a personal grudge against the band's leader (Chandler) for victimizing his wife and their farm. Trouble is the leader is kind of a likable guy. So which way will the ex-renegade go.
Somewhere inside all the turgid talk is a good story of conflict between Parker's emotions and his principles. Trouble is the studio (Paramount) appears more interested in playing up the three leads than in the story itself. Thus we get a ton of talky scenes with some combination of Parker, Chandler, and Aubert instead of action or suspense. So western fans may feel cheated in the action department. I suspect four scriptwriters working on the same screenplay have something to do with that. Then too, the direction (Frank) is pretty flat. In fact, the director's resume (IMDB) appears more at home with fluff than outdoor drama. It's noteworthy too that the locations never leave greater LA, so we're also short in the scenic department. That's especially unfortunate since the film needs some sweep to match the story's scale. After all, the script is playing with the disposition of an entire state, Kansas. On the other hand, Paramount did pop for an army of extras to fill out the mustering scenes.
I winced at one point where Chandler says life is short, or words to that effect. Tragically, Chandler himself would die two years later as a result of medical malpractice. So his words here seem more than just a little prophetic. Too bad the menacing Henry Silva is largely wasted in a routine role. Some close-ups of his sinister sneer would have added needed dramatic impact. All in all, the movie's a turgid disappointment despite a capable cast, a good core conflict, and big screen VistaVision.
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