A cavalry officer sympathetic to the wronged Sioux fixes a meeting between Chief Sitting Bull and President Grant but a dishonest Indian Agent and a hateful General Custer test the Sioux's patience, threatening to derail the peace-talks.
J. Carrol Naish
This is one of those Westerns that has very stock characters and relies on the "fluff" of scenery and action.
The "fluff" is good. The fights look more like reality than the goofy choreographed ones for the bubble boys. People wrestle clumsily. The only comical fight is between the hero and wagon master, which has the look of a goofy choreographed fight of taking punches.
They seemed to want to make several characters work, but they are poorly written. The wagon master, played by John Russell, and the Strauss Indian agent were obviously meant to be the two "deep" characters, but they are written so horribly, that even clever acting and directing can only lure in the most brain dead.
A lot doesn't work here. The most perplexing plot hole is how a wagon train full of people is wiped out by Indians with legitimate anger, in such a fashion. They have trained cavalry men helping, and new repeating rifles. When it is over, there are only corpses and about ten healthy survivors, none with any serious wounds. Why they are left, one can't explain, unless they found a really good hiding place, but most of them were plainly in the middle of the melee. I can only surmise that at the end, the Indians kicked up horse dust to finish them off, and somehow the survivors found an air pocket. Best explanation I can give. However, this should have been explained.
What does work is the "normal" look of the leading characters. Even the heroine is no "model". She looks like any one else. These are ordinary looking people, and that gives an interesting look to a film that relies on the "interesting look".
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