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Two Flags West (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 18 January 1951 (Chile)
Forced by circumstances,Confederate POWs and Union soldiers join forces against Indians but old animosities resurface during their fragile alliance.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Curtis Kenyon (story), Frank S. Nugent (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joseph Cotten ... Col. Clay Tucker
Linda Darnell ... Elena Kenniston
Jeff Chandler ... Maj. Henry Kenniston
Cornel Wilde ... Capt. Mark Bradford
Dale Robertson ... Lem
Jay C. Flippen ... Sgt. Terrance Duey
Noah Beery Jr. ... Cy Davis (as Noah Beery)
Harry von Zell ... Ephraim Strong
Johnny Sands ... Lt. Adams (as John Sands)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Sgt. Pickens
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Storyline

During the Civil War, in 1863,Confederate prisoners of war agree to join forces with the Union Army in the common fight against Indians.In return,the Confederate POWs are promised their freedom by President Lincoln during his Special Proclamation.A company of Confederate Georgia cavalry POWs,under the command of Confederate Colonel Clay Tucker, joins the Union on the sole condition they wouldn't have to fight against the Confederacy.The company is sent to the isolated and undermanned Fort Thorn, New Mexico, on the Western frontier. The fort is commanded by Union major Henry Kenniston who is limping from an old war wound and who hates Confederates.The old animosities between Unionists and Confederates quickly resurface during their fragile alliance against the Indians. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

UNFURLS THE BANNER TO HIGH ADVENTURE! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 1951 (Chile) See more »

Also Known As:

Trumpet to the Morn See more »

Filming Locations:

Shipman Ranch, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Chandler, who was in the very early stages of his career, admired Joseph Cotten so much that he would show up to watch the veteran actor work even when he was not scheduled to be there. See more »

Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: The Still Trumpet (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm a Good Old Rebel
(uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Civil War western, unjustly forgotten
20 January 2012 | by gerdeen-1See all my reviews

"Two Flags West" is a real surprise, entertaining and powerful. It contains its share of Hollywood clichés: Yankees and Rebels teaming up to fight Indians; an unhinged officer commanding a lonely outpost; a beautiful women creating tension among comrades in arms. But it's original in the way it handles them.

Jeff Chandler plays Maj. Henry Kenniston, a Union officer put in charge of a desert fort after being partially disabled by a war wound. Distrustful of Indians and bitter about his assignment, he dreams of returning to the war and taking revenge on the Confederates who hurt him and killed his brother.

Worst of all, Kenniston is obsessed with his brother's widow (played by Linda Darnell). He's an honorable man in his own way, and he feels a genuine sense of responsibility toward her. He tells himself he's keeping her at the fort for her own protection. But in his heart, he lusts after her, and he hates himself for doing so.

When reinforcements arrive at this troubled outpost, Kenniston is shocked to find that most are former Confederate POWs. They have pledged to serve the Union as Indian fighters as long as they don't have to make war on fellow Southerners.

To the already unstable major, being put in command of such troops is a crushing insult. And it doesn't help his state of mind when the Southerners' leader (played by Joseph Cotten) and an idealistic Union officer (played by Cornel Wilde) begin to show interest in the beautiful widow themselves. Kenniston soon embarks on a course of action guaranteed to alienate both the Indians and the Southerners -- and endanger the peace.

"Two Flags West" is a well plotted western, with events that flow from the characters' motivations instead of from a predictable plot. It's full of action, and its violence is grimly realistic for the time it was made.

Chandler is excellent as a complex, disastrous leader who inspires anger, pity and even some admiration in the viewer. Darnell, in one of her better roles, makes a convincing object of desire. Cotten and Wilde are fine, although they could have switched roles and still been just as effective.

Any fan of westerns ought to enjoy this a lot, and non-fans should give it a look.


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