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Chuka (1967) More at IMDbPro »

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Chuka -- Throughout the West, one name means action: Chuka! Tension builds for soldiers guarding a besieged prairie fort against Indian attacks. Their nerves are frayed and their spirits are dying. But there's a glimmer of hope: the lone gunfighter who's come to help them is the man called Chuka! Rod Taylor straps on his six-gun in this heroic, hard-hitting western about Chuka, a man of war who's seen enough fighting to know he must keep the brushfires of hatred and violence from erupting again. Acclaimed actors Ernest Borgnine, John Mills, James Whitmore and Louis Hayward join Taylor in this taut tale that emphasizes strong characterizations and meaningful action.


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Richard Jessup (novel)
Richard Jessup (screenplay)
View company contact information for Chuka on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 July 1967 (USA) See more »
They called him saddle-bum...desert rat...pistolero...but where would they have been without Chuka on that bloody summer's day. See more »
While Indians besiege a U.S. Army fort in 1876, residents of the fort a gunfighter, a stagecoach driver, two Mexican women, and a motley company of soldiers try to come to terms with their pasts. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Gunslinger Rod Taylor (Chuka) detours at a doomed fort because of a lost love See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order)

Rod Taylor ... Chuka

Ernest Borgnine ... Sgt. Otto Hahnsbach

John Mills ... Colonel Stuart Valois

Luciana Paluzzi ... Señora Veronica Kleitz

James Whitmore ... Lou Trent

Victoria Vetri ... Señorita Helena Chavez (as Angela Dorian)

Louis Hayward ... Major Benson

Michael Cole ... Spivey
Hugh Reilly ... Captain Carrol
Barry O'Hara ... Slim - Cook

Joseph Sirola ... Jake Baldwin
Marco López ... Hanu (as Marco Antonio)
Gerald York ... Lieutenant Daly
Herlinda Del Carmen ... Indian Girl
Lucky Carson ... Stage Driver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ford Rainey ... Captain Robert R. Foster (uncredited)

Directed by
Gordon Douglas 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Richard Jessup  novel
Richard Jessup  screenplay

Produced by
Jack Jason .... producer
Rod Taylor .... producer
Original Music by
Leith Stevens 
Cinematography by
Harold E. Stine (director of photography) (as Harold Stine)
Film Editing by
Bob Wyman  (as Robert Wyman)
Art Direction by
Tambi Larsen  (as Tambi Larson)
Hal Pereira 
Set Decoration by
Robert R. Benton  (as Robert Benton)
Jack Mills 
Costume Design by
Edith Head 
Makeup Department
Nellie Manley .... hair styles supervisor
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
John R. Coonan .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Kellogg .... second unit director
Howard Roessel .... assistant director
Sound Department
Garry A. Harris .... sound recordist
John Wilkinson .... sound recordist
Howard Beals .... sound editor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects
Fred Hakim .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Shannon .... stunts (uncredited)
Roy N. Sickner .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Macdonald .... grip
Irmin Roberts .... photography: second unit
Music Department
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
Van Cleave .... orchestrator (as Nathan Van Cleave)
Other crew
Leon Charles .... dialogue coach
Fred Hakim .... assistant to producers

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
105 min
Color (Pathécolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Col. Stuart Valois:How many men have you killed?
Chuka:I stopped counting at sixteen.
Col. Stuart Valois:Were they fair fights? Mr. Chuka! Where they fair fights?
Chuka:Fifteen were fair.
Col. Stuart Valois:And what is fair to you, Mr. Chuka
Chuka:They were facing me. They had a chance at me.
Col. Stuart Valois:And the sixteenth?
Chuka:I shot him in the back of the head. But like the doctor here, I can't prove that he stuck a knife in me and was stealing my horse.
See more »


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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Gunslinger Rod Taylor (Chuka) detours at a doomed fort because of a lost love, 27 November 2012
Author: msroz from United States

Rod Taylor plays Chuka (pronounced Chucka), a noted gunman making his way to a new life and Montana when he stops to help a stagecoach threatened by Arapahos. On the stage is beautiful Luciana Paluzzi, a Mexican woman who, despite her love for him, married as her family prescribed.

They all end up at a fort headed by a former British officer (John Mills) with a loyal sergeant (Ernest Borgnine) holding things together. On hand are a scout, reliable James Whitmore, and another officer, Louis Hayward, who sneaks in pretty Indian girls.

The story carries little suspense since, at the outset, we learn that the cavalry has been wiped out by an Indian attack. The Indians are starving and threatening, but the obtuse Colonel Mills refuses to aid them. He seems intent on inviting a doomsday attack to show that this time he won't be falling asleep drunk when it happens. The fort is a dumping ground for any and all cavalry misfits, and at one point they even try an ineffectual mutiny.

This Paramount western does have a big fight at the end, but its main focus is to illuminate as many of the characters as it can prior to the big showdown. Western reality, cavalry reality, and western scenery definitely play little or no part in these character studies. Instead, the characters weave and criss-cross mainly within the stage set's fort. The budget for sets was low. Most of it was probably devoted to paying the all-star cast.

The script doesn't integrate the characters' actions enough to create tension or interest in what happens next. Instead, we have more or less separate characters. The main exception is the love affair of Taylor and Paluzzi and the suspense about what their fates will be. No director could have transformed this into a classic without a far different and better script. In the end, this is not a classic Hollywood western, but it tries hard.

What sticks with me are the following: the John Mills weak Colonel and a dinner party at which he reveals the foibles of his officers; Borgnine's loyalty to Mills and his steadfast soldiering; Paluzzi's smoldering good looks; Whitmore's repartee; Taylor's emotion at winning Paluzzi; and Hayward as a fallen officer who nevertheless maintains some sort of aristocratic bearing.

That's quite enough to make this a watchable western.

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