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After a cavalry group is massacred by the Cheyenne, only two survivors remain: Honus, a naive private devoted to his duty, and Cresta, a young woman who had lived with the Cheyenne two years and whose sympathies lie more with them than with the US government. Together, they must try to reach the cavalry's main base camp. As they travel onward, Honus is torn between his growing affection for Cresta, and his disgust for her anti-American beliefs. They reach the cavalry campsite on the eve of an attack on a Cheyenne village, where Honus will learn which side has really been telling him the truth. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In its unedited form(amazingly available in censor happy Britain)this is a remarkable movie that once seen is difficult to ever forget.From its eyecatching opening credits accompanied by the heartfelt rendering of the title song by Buffy Saint-Marie to its graphic close,"SOLDIER BLUE" is the masterwork of journeyman director Ralph Nelson. The movie culminates in the notorious Sand Creek massacre when the U.S.cavalry exterminated a peaceful Indian village with very extreme prejudice.The images of carnage here remain vividly grotesque and etch the movie into the mind of the viewer. To get to this point,however,we are treated to the growing romance of the two leading players.Candice Bergen never had a better role than here as Cresta Lee,a far from typical western heroine and Peter Strauss as naive Honus Gant;the "soldier blue" is nothing short of wonderful and seems to grow from boy to man before your eyes as he realises the grim realities of the cause he has eschewed.This actor,always worthy of note,never made it big in the cinema.On the basis of his performance here he most certainly deserved to. His rendering of Tennyson's "THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE" over the bodies of his dead comrades is a heart-breaking moment and he handles his love scene in a cave with Bergen with remarkable tenderness.Donald Pleasance also scores points as a particularly nasty villain that Cresta and Honus meet on their journey.All supporting roles are very well played and the music by Roy Budd is also worthy of note,a very pleasing score indeed. "SOLDIER BLUE" is a film awaiting rediscovery,it is better than anything directed by John Ford and this poignant,beautiful and bloody tale should be viewed by everyone;young and old alike.
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