Western about racial intolerance focuses around Kiowa claim that the Zachary daughter is one of their own, stolen in a raid. The dispute results in other whites turning their backs on the Zacharys when the truth is revealed by Mother. Cash, the hotheaded brother, reacts violently upon learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid. Written by
Richard Burton was originally cast in the Audie Murphy role but declined it due to his strong superstitious beliefs. A fortune teller had predicted he would die at 33, so he did not do any film work at all in 1959. He also rejected $350k to play Christ in Nick Ray's " King of Kings " in Spain for the same reason. See more »
In the copyright notice on "The End' screen, the year is given as MCMLVIX (it should be MCMLIX). See more »
[yelling at a cow eating grass growing on the Zachary family's roof]
Shoo now! Shoo! Ain't you got no better manners than to eat at the top of a house?
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Which is a shame because after an admittedly slow laborious first third, the film kicks on from the moment the Kiowa Indian's turn up asking for the return of their kin. The film is gorgeous to look at (Franz Planer shooting out of Durango, Mexico) and benefits from some sterling performances from those involved. Big bad Burt Lancaster broods as the big brother, and it was wonderful to see Audrey Hepburn playing a down to earth character, no glam and glitter here; in fact it was kind of special watching her with rifle in hands firing away. The ending took me a little by surprise (but in a good way), and I was fully satisfied that I had just watched an involving and entertaining genre piece. If Huston did indeed consider this one of his worst films then I look forward to catching many more of his misfires. 7/10
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