When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse ... See full summary »
Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.
When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »
When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse than it's worth and break it too by embarking on a 1,500 miles journey back to their ancestral hunting grounds. US Cavalry Capt. Thomas Archer is charged with their retrieval, but during the hunt grows to respect their noble courage, and decides to help them. Written by
Spencer Tracy was first cast as the secretary of interior Karl Shultz, but had a heart attack and was replaced by Edward G. Robinson, whose scenes were entirely photographed in studios, including the climatic meeting scene between Shultz and the Cheyenne chiefs, in which the background had to be done with screen process. See more »
Dull Knife, the old chief is much too sick. He'll never make such a trip. Listen...
If he lives to ride even a mile closer to home, he will die as a man should. There will be no more dying in this place.
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This film is the perfect counterpoint to early John Ford films such as Stagecoach. In Stagecoach every indian was painted as a bloodthirsty savage, out to menace all of the civilized folk. Cheyenne Autumn, on the other hand is a very revealing film... behind it all you can almost feel John Ford questioning himself and his previous views on American history. In this film it is the US soldiers who are painted as the brutal savages, and the indians are the civilized folk. It's amazing to see Ford, who practically built his career glorifying the chivalry of the western hero, do a complete 360 to end up de-glorifying it. I have the feeling that this was a very personal film for Ford and in that light it really does make him one of the great auteurs of cinema.
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