This film is basically a remake of Gunga Din (1939) set in the American "Wild West". After filming was completed, the producers discovered they needed to secure the rights to the original story. They were forced to pay a large fee to the copyright owners before the film could be released. See more »
The shown lever-action arms carried by the soldiers were not issued to US units. 1873 saw the initial issuance of trapdoor Springfields, a breech-loading single shot rifle or carbine using a .45 caliber metallic cartridge - the same arms carried by Custers's troopers at Little Bighorn. See more »
Sloppy western comedy with action...nearly incompetent and almost unwatchable
Although John Sturges directed it and star Frank Sinatra produced it, this rewrite of "Gunga Din" lands with a deadening thud. Calvary officers are assigned to investigate an abandoned western town and run afoul of war-hungry Indian tribe. Other episodes include Sammy Davis, Jr. as a bugler (and apparent stable-boy!) who wants to enlist; a white mule with stomach problems who gets a magic tonic; Joey Bishop as an uptight Sergeant-Major who gets pranked by Sinatra and Dean Martin; and lovers Peter Lawford and Ruta Lee, whose wedding is interrupted by his buddies. Initially, the curious mixture of action, western dramatics, and Rat Pack frivolity is odd yet engaging. Too soon, however, the ingredients congeal, and every scene in the film's second-half is a wasted opportunity. The sets, editing, and continuity are terrible, the camera-work (especially in a scene with Dino and Sammy on a shaky rope bridge) is excruciating, and most of the acting is completely rote. *1/2 from ****
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