Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he ... See full summary »
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Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he does not seem to be able to do anything right. Lt. McQuade also has trouble with Tracey, but it will be the renegade Indians that will test him and teach him the importance of following orders. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
On the night before the final battle: around the campfire, bottom right, ribbed shoe-prints are clearly visible in the dust. They were obviously made by modern footwear with synthetic soles. See more »
Joey's comments above are spot on. And you should also notice the visual style of the film: scenes in the fort tend to be in tones of grey or blue, cavalry colours, but most scenes throughout the film have a detail picked out in bright red - clothing, books, drinks,and, finally blood. Compositions are also distinctive: two shots often have one figure closer to the camera, some medium shots have an over-the-shoulder angle. For those who like that kind of thing, there is an interesting Oedipal theme, and the film centres on the rite of passage of the central figure,played by George Hamilton, appropriately vain and self-regarding. Women are sacrificed and marginalised ruthlessly, and there is a further theme about children which I couldn't quite work out.
The cavalry/Indians structure is the peg on which a thoughtful narrative has been hung; even the killing scenes avoid the some of current excesses, and there are hints that the Indians have their own culture which the cavalry officers learn to recognise - and exploit. The inferior technology of the Indians is clearly a factor in their defeat.
It will be a shocking day when the US Cavalry meet an indigenous population which is tactically and technologically their equal, won't it?
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