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|Index||13 reviews in total|
Picking this movie up from the library shelf, I didn't read anything on the box about it being historically accurate or factual so I didn't expect to get a history lesson by watching it. For a one hundred minute made for TV movie I wasn't at all disappointed, and felt entertained for the time I invested in it. Besides being filmed on location, it appeared a good effort was made in the uniform and prop department and it did not have a Hollywood look or feel to it. I would recommend this movie to those who like westerns; and don't have an eye and ear for knowing it all, or watch movies for their political or social messages. I did notice that their 1873 Colt's had the wrong frame for the time period, and the cylinders weren't beveled as they should have been, but I guess we all have to find fault somewhere, even us simple mined folk. Watch it, and enjoy it for what it is.
This film may be a tribute to the African American soldiers but at
times it is almost racist. All white men are portrayed as evil while
all buffalo soldiers are noble. Even the scout is a black Seminole
which is not historically accurate as most scouts at this time were
recruited from reservation apaches. the movie also has African American
soul music playing over some of the scenes. the movie itself is
exciting and a good way to spend a Saturday afternoon but it gets
bogged down in the trumpeting of the black soldiers as 'nobler' than
their white counterparts.
if you want a realistic portrayal of the Apache wars watch 'Ulzana's Raid' with Burt Lancaster or 'The Missing' with Tommy Lee Jones
Overall i found this movie enjoyable but irritating at times. it is full of 1990's political correctness but could do with this being played down a bit.
The story line offered with the movie, "Buffalo Soldiers," starring
Danny Glover, describes the film as fact based. With the apparent noble
intention of illustrating and informing their audience of the important
contributions made by African American soldiers in the invasion,
occupation and settlement of the southwestern United States, writers
Jonathan Klein and Frank Military weave a tale of Company H, Tenth
Cavalry and its attempt to capture an "Apache warrior named Vittorio"
who slaughters settlers in New Mexico. Directed by Charles Haid, the
film further promises to reveal "the truth about the Indian invaders."
"Buffalo Soldiers" is a major disappointment. The great cinematography
delivers misinformation at best and definitely sets back the education
of the public with its false narrative.
In 1997, I saw this movie and shook my head. Because a number of people have mentioned it to me this year (2012) with praise, I saw it again last week. This time, I was appalled.
Black cavalrymen and infantrymen of Buffalo Soldier fame were well respected by their Indian adversaries. They earned grudging recognition from fellow white soldiers and genuine praise from their white officers. And, they certainly did not commit the repugnant crime purported near the end of the movie. Civil War hero Colonel Grierson was not the wimp portrayed in the movie, nor was he wounded by Indians during his twenty plus years as the commander of the Tenth Cavalry.
Chihenne Chief Victorio (not "Vittorio") is known to scholars as well as buffs. Between 1970 and 1991, authors Eve Ball and Dan Thrapp wrote scholarly and complete volumes about Chief Victorio and why he led his Mimbres Apaches (sometimes called Warm Springs Apaches or Eastern Chiricahua Apaches) in a fourteen month war against the United States. Called America's greatest guerrilla fighter, Victorio was certainly not a Mescalero Apache as he was called in the movie, though a few Mescalero warriors joined his band.
At Rattlesnake Springs in West Texas, the movie makers missed a chance to depict the actual dramatic showdown. It was Grierson versus Victorio. The two generals deployed their troops expertly and with aplomb. That day, Grierson used his Companies A, B, C, G, and H each a company of Buffalo Soldiers. Find the factual and exciting outcome in readable story form here along with a recommended bibliography for your reading pleasure. https://bobrogers.biz/Page_per_Book/First_Dark.html "Buffalo Soldiers," in addition to being an instrument of misinformation, is a teaching opportunity squandered.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film held my interest for quite a while. All the ingredients were
present to make a fine film. First, the topic of the Buffalo Soldiers is
highly interesting. In real history, these men were a tribute to the
uniform they fought for. In the movie. . . well things kind of fall
The good guys are just too darned good. And the bad guys are really bad. Indeed, almost if not completely psychotic. And geez, it turns out the bad guys are the white officers under which the valiant Buffalo Soldiers serve.
On the other hand, the Indians are really good as are the black soldiers. These two oppressed peoples are so good in fact, that when the Buffalo Soldiers are about to kill an entire tribe of Indians that they've been looking for the whole time, the karma in the air kind of magically makes them change their minds. Remarkable! Like any enlightened person of the 1990's they let the Indians go. Something tells me it wouldn't have gone down that way in the 1870's.
The makers should have called this film, "Politically Correct Buffolo Soldiers from the 1990's Go Back to the Future."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For TV standards this was a good, well made film.
Basically, the makers of this motion picture lost an excellent opportunity to make a great film, which would not have required too much more, The camera was very good, the sound also (allbeit the soundtrack is a little overly melodramatic). The acting was also very good, especially for television standards, and overall the film gives a very realistic impression. Unfortunately it could have been much better. Just the ending alone destroys most of the good impressions made during the movie. Why on earth did they want to depart from the historical facts in order to engage in creating a situation so absurd that not even a 5 year old kid would believe it. All for the sake of political correctness? But this is ridiculous! How stupid do they think the viewers are? If you only do as much as look up the Indian wars in Wikipedia, you will find that "Encounters with the Indians usually resulted in skirmishes; however the 10th engaged in major confrontations at Tinaja de las Palmas (a water hole south of Sierra Blanca) and at Rattlesnake Springs (north of Van Horn). These two engagements halted Victorio and forced him to retreat to Mexico. Although Victorio and his band were not captured, the campaign conducted by the 10th successfully prevented them from reaching New Mexico", not that they sat down with the Indians, had coffee, talked about it and then let them go! It just doesn't make sense. Why destroy a perfectly good movie with nonsense like this?
In other, the character development is far too simple, too one-sided for this to be an "important" movie. All in all, good made for TV fare, but unfortunately nothing more.
Anyone who says this is 'revisionist history' is in denial. The movie is about Victorio's War, which was part of the Apache Wars. To see how the Apache Wars ended, see the movie Geronimo (1993). The dialogue is less Victorian and more like Western movies, but it has a lot of jokes that serve to show the characters' personalities outside of their jobs as soldiers, so it works. My only disappointment is that the opening credits run during the best part of the movie - the religious ritual that the Apache are performing before they flee from their poverty-stricken reservation. It strikes me as disrespectful to run credits during any religious content. However, the Native Americans are played by Native American actors and the Mescalero-Chiricahua language is spoken, so Native Americans are portrayed in a positive way, not a stereotypical one. In the movie, the buffalo soldiers variously respect and mistreat the Apache, because if they fail to arrest the Natives, black people in general will look like unfit soldiers. It's simultaneously harsh and uplifting.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The authors know nothing of the history of the Buffalo Soldiers nor how a dedicated soldier would behave. The authors completely rewrote the history of the particular character of Nana (who was a real person). It's pretty disappointing that the authors chose to give an explanation of the Apaches killing spree as a group who didn't want to live on a reservation. The Apaches historically had raided and murdered many other peaceful tribes as well as settlers; there is plenty of historical documentation. The authors chose to depict them as victims in this film. It's clear that the authors also know nothing about the military and show little regard for them in this film. The Buffalo Soldier would have done his duty with honor as any soldier would, they were not men of cowardice or considered themselves victims. I'm quite ashamed of writers like this who change stories to make a personal statement, they have an agenda. I thought there might be something more accurately portrayed when I rented this movie but it turned out to be quite disappointing.
From the title, I expected a good overview of the Buffalo Soldiers.
Instead, we get a drawn out, soap-opera-ish tale of hunting down a single
Indian villain. Since I missed the first minute or two of opening credits,
this script may have been pure fiction for all I know. As one complaint,
there is no mention of John Pershing's (of World War I fame) association
with these troops.
As could be expected, the wrongs and conflicts from racism are well set forth. Nonetheless, the Buffalo Soldiers, many ex-slaves, proudly risk their lives and stay in the cavalry by choice.
The acting is commendable, particularly that of Danny Glover as the central character. Some '90s idioms (the 1990s, that is) find their way into the dialog.
Given the title and the general ignorance (myself included) about the Buffalo Soldiers, this tv movie was very disappointing. Surely, these men did a lot more on the frontier than they are credited with here.
In the post-Civil War world, Texas Rangers track Apache war chief
Victorio across the border to the federal New Mexico Territories. Sgt.
Washington Wyatt (Danny Glover) leads the all negro US Cavalry H Troop.
He arrests the Rangers for trespassing and murder. Commander Gen. Pike
looks down on the colored troops and their command abilities. He puts
southerner Maj. Robert Carr (Timothy Busfield) in charge despite his
unwillingness to lead them. Col. Benjamin Grierson is a more supportive
officer. John Horse (Carl Lumbly) is the native guide. Victorio is on
the loose and on the attack.
This is an interesting and little told American history. There are compelling stories to be told. It would have been more interesting to have more diverse personalities in the colored troops. They are almost all stoic which leaves the group rather flat. I would also love to see the other side of the story from Victorio's point of view. Of course, that may make it too complicated. This is still a very compelling TV movie.
"Buffalo Soldiers' is an average western/adventure entry that tell a story about a troop in the U.S. Army after the Civil War exclusively for black soldiers. Based on this historical point, the movie is concerned with some crucial aspects of these arrangements: the bad treatment that was given to the black soldiers by some of the white officials, the evident absurdity of serve in the U.S Army, die for the country and not receive an equal treatment and some other minor stuffs. 'Buffalo Soldiers' tries to do that without lose the sense of adventure and action along the way. Here, the success is just mild. Sometimes, you feel that the dialogs are a bit too dialectical, too political, to be really natural. And the ending is a bit too unreal, maybe, especially when one considers the shape of conscience of the sergeant-major, played by Danny Golver. All considered, that is not a bad movie. But its commitment to discuss aspects like freedom, self-conscience, compassion and respect for the Apache culture, weighed the movie a bit too heavy. Good performances all around, especially Carl Lumbly as the scout named Horse.
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