6.0/10
271
10 user 7 critic

The Devil's Backbone (1971)

The Deserter (original title)
Army deserter Capt. Viktor Kaleb is offered a pardon and reinstatement in the cavalry if he agrees to lead a special forces group in a raid against an Apache stronghold into Mexico.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(based on a story by), (based on a story by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Capt. Victor Kaleb
...
Maj. Wade Brown
...
Reynolds
...
Natchai - Indian Scout
...
British Army Capt. Crawford
...
Lt. Ferguson
...
Tattinger - American Scout
...
Jackson
...
Schmidt
...
Capt. Bill Robinson
Fausto Tozzi ...
Orozco
Mimmo Palmara ...
Apache Chief Mangus Durango
John Alderson ...
O'Toole
Doc Greaves ...
Scott
Lucio Rosato ...
Jed
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Storyline

Bitter over his wife's death due to what he believes was army negligence, Capt. Viktor Kaleb deserts the cavalry and disappears into the southwestern wasteland. But when marauding Apaches set up a stronghold just out of the cavalry's reach in Mexico, Kaleb is given amnesty in exchange for leading a small band of especially trained soldiers to wipe out the Indian stronghold. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A savage renegade and the chosen few... they followed him into Hell just for the chance to kill him! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1971 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ride to Glory  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Burt Kennedy came on board, he wanted Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Ernest Borgnine or Martin Landau or Karl Malden for the part of Gen. Miles. Malden looked for $250,000 plus $1,500 a day expenses. A much cheaper John Huston got the part. See more »

Quotes

Ferguson: He seemed to come straight out of the glare of the sun. We never knew what hit us.
General Miles: Did he say anything?
Ferguson: He said it was a lot easier to kill men than it was to capture them. Next time, he'll stop us the easy way.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nixon Doctrine Spaghetti western with Rambo in buckskins...
21 June 2004 | by (Kansas City, MO) – See all my reviews

What can I say about this film?

Well, it has to be first Nixon doctrine spaghetti western with a frustrated general complaining about the rules of engagement that prevent him launching a search-and-destroy mission on an Apache stronghold in Mexico (Hmmmm...substitute Apaches for the Vietcong and Mexico for Vietnam...) It even has a buckskin Rambo, that being Captain Kaleb, who wants to take out the entire Apache nation after his wife is murdered.

Well, this gets me to the movie. It is one of those movie that used to get made in the Sixties and Early Seventies where scores of actors are assembled in various stock roles, with a screenplay that has recycled every action movie convention without much spark or imagination. And then there's Bekim Fehmiu. I've seen more vivid performances from driftwood.

In short, it's one of those movies you watch on a Saturday afternoon, when nothing else is on and pay very little attention to it.

The only exception I would have to make it for Piero Piccioni's score. It's got that cheezy late sixties jazz thing going on (apologies to Dennis Miller..)

Other than that, it is nothing terribly memorable...


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