9 user 3 critic

Massacre River (1949)

Approved | | Western | 26 June 1949 (USA)
Two cavalry officers clash over the colonel's daughter at a remote outpost with Indian troubles.


John Rawlins


Louis Stevens (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Madison ... Larry Knight
Rory Calhoun ... Phil Acton
Carole Mathews ... Laura Jordan
Cathy Downs ... Kitty Reid
Johnny Sands ... Randy Reid
Steve Brodie ... Burke Kimber
Art Baker ... Col. James Reid
Iron Eyes Cody ... Chief Yellowstone
Emory Parnell ... Sgt. Johanssen
Queenie Smith ... Mrs. Johanssen
Eddy Waller ... Joe (as Eddie Waller)
James Bush ... Eddie
John Holland ... Roberts
Douglas Fowley ... Simms
Harry Brown ... Piano Player


Chief Yellowstone and Colonel James Reid negotiate a treaty setting a final boundary between lands owned by Indians and areas open to white settlers. The Wachupi River, known as Massacre River for the many bloody battles between Indians and settlers, is agreed upon as boundary. No settlers are allowed to cross this river into Indian territory. The Indians promise to stick to their side of the river. However, Chief Yellowstone warns Colonel Reid that some of his braves who wish to wage war might be hard to control and they could attack wagon trains. Colonel Reid's son, Junior Lieutenant Randy Reid is serving under his father. Two of his best friends, Lieutenants Phil Acton and Larry Knight are also attached to the cavalry unit serving at the isolated outpost. The two junior officers compete for the affections of Kitty Reid. Kitty Reid is Lieutenant Randy Reid's sister and Colonel James Reid's daughter. Although Kitty is engaged to Phil Acton she realizes that she's actually in love ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Thrill-swept epic of a flaming frontier!




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User Reviews

Routine oater with an attractive cast
18 November 2004 | by frentzenSee all my reviews

In this routine oater, Larry (Guy Madison) and Phil (Rory Calhoun) are officers in the Army stationed at a remote fort at the edge of Indian territory. The Indian chief (Iron Eyes Cody) represents the native inhabitants near the end of their fight with the white man; therefore, the fort and nearby town of Jackson are populated by mostly settlers and other civilians. Larry is engaged to Kitty (Cathy Downs), the daughter of the fort commander, and Kitty's brother Randy is the mild comedy relief. Although the film's poster promises some violent Army-Indian clashes, there is only one mildly good battle scene and a skirmish near the finale. The bulk of the movie is a leaden soap opera concerned with how Larry jilts Kitty after he falls in love with the hardened co-owner of Jackson's saloon (Carole Matthews). This sets both Phil and Randy against Larry. The divisions this causes leads the death and tragedy in a "character-driven" western which, despite good performances from Madison and Matthews, strains to make us believe that their characters have any sort of believable future together.

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Release Date:

26 June 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

When a Man's a Man See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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