A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal.
During the Sioux Wars, General Frederick McCabe's 3rd U. S. Cavalry Regiment is recruiting and training men for the upcoming campaign against the Sioux. Captain Demas Harrod is in charge of the D troop. He's also in-love with pretty Lou Woodard who lives in Mule City. Lou is engaged to Sol Rogers, chief of scouts under General McCabe. Lou doesn't seem to make up her mind regarding the man she really wants. She claims to be attracted to both men. This brings the two rivals into conflict that often times ends up into fist fights. At the fort, the training of men intensifies. After the graduation, the troopers get a well-deserved leave which they spend in nearby Mule City drinking heavily and causing disturbances. These disturbances prompt the town Marshal and his deputies to try to arrest the rowdy soldiers. A general fist-fight ensues, bringing Captain Harrod and chief of scouts Rogers together on the same side of the punch-up match. General McCabe participates in a commanders' ... Written by
Sam Peckinpah, who was originally slated to direct, would use at least three of the cast for his cavalry western, " Major Dundee " which was filmed around the same time - Senta Berger, Michael Anderson Jr and Slim Pickens. See more »
I cringed when the opening credits started and some horrible song invaded my ear drums, but then things got better and I was pleasantly surprised while watching this film in its widescreen version. The acting was very good, the Calvary life on a dusty western post was well depicted, and the direction, albeit cheesy in some of chivalry scenes between the two leading men and typical bar fights of the genre, was pretty good considering the simple and predictable plot line.
I think James Caan's part of Pvt. Anthony Dugan was well acted and gives us a hint to his impending stardom. Beautiful Senta Berger was just okay in her part of Lou Woddard but there wasn't much for her to do except officiate the battle between Tom Tryon and Harve Presnell for her hand. The other parts weren't that special either but what made the film play out well in my eyes was the appearance of authenticity of a western Calvary company. From the initial gathering of a bunch of green troops through their training and drilling, and complaining, to the final well oiled product that had at least a fighting chance of survival in a big campaign against the Indians.
I would recommend this film for those who like westerns and give it 6.5 stars out of 10.
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