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Indian Paint (1965)

 -  Western  -  8 April 1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 89 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 2 critic

Nishko is a chief's son in the Great Plains, before Europeans arrive. During his rite of passage, he's determined to tame a painted pony. He approaches manhood while his peaceful clan is ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Complete credited cast:
Chief Hevatanu
Pat Hogan ...
George J. Lewis ...
Nopawallo (as George Lewis)
Joan Hallmark ...
Cinda Siler ...
Bill Blackwell ...
Sutako (as William Blackwell)
Al Doney ...
Latoso (as Albert Doney)
Marshall Jones ...
Comanche leader
Suzanne Goodman ...
Widow of Latoso
Warren L. Dodge ...
Second Comanche


Nishko is a chief's son in the Great Plains, before Europeans arrive. During his rite of passage, he's determined to tame a painted pony. He approaches manhood while his peaceful clan is set upon by a nearby tribe willing to break a treaty. He must also contend with the kidnapping of three young women from his village, his pony's illness behind enemy lines, his mother's coma after a rattlesnake bite, the medicine man's urging that he sacrifice what he loves best, the attack of a cougar and of wolves, and his own injury while alone in the woods. His kindness, bravery, and quick thinking serve him well, but rescue come from an unexpected source. Written by <>

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Release Date:

8 April 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arikara  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Final film of Pat Hogan. See more »


Painted Pony
Music by Marlin Skiles
Lyrics by Norman Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

Such A Silly Error About PreColumbian Indians
21 February 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If Indian Paint hadn't started out with a bad historical error I might have given it a star or two higher rating. But even a B independent picture should not have made such a bad mistake. Right at the beginning the narrator says that the story is set in the time before the white man came to the western hemisphere and the Indians who are plains Indians are all riding horses.

Even high school history students know that the horse came to America first from Cortes who let his stock run free and multiply in Mexico. Horses gradually moved north or were traded north by tribes to the south to their northern brethren who envied what could be done on horseback.

Such an incredibly silly error mars a very nice story of a young Indian boy coming of age as a warrior through his love and care for a wild colt that everyone else says can't be broken. Jay Silverheels is the chief of the Arikawaha tribe and he's got considerably more dialog than what he used to have in The Lone Ranger.

Silverheels's son is Johnny Crawford two years from The Rifleman and trying to keep his career alive as a teenage heartthrob. He plays the lad trying to tame the wild colt and has quite a few adventures in the process.

Some criticism is voiced about not having American Indian players in the roles that whites have in this film. Take a look at the credits and you'll see one Robert Crawford, Sr. is the associate producer of Indian Paint. That should answer the question why his Johnny was cast in the lead. Please note that Robert Crawford, Jr. who was a regular in the Laramie series while Johnny was on The Rifleman is cast as Johnny's best friend. I think this is the last time the Crawford brothers worked together on a project.

Indian Paint was shot on a shoestring completely outdoors in Texas where the action would have taken place a few hundred years earlier. It does lack some production values that a big studio could have given, but it's still a nice story, good family viewing.

But let no one come away with the fact that horses were being ridden before Columbus got here.

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