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
Linda Darnell said that director Robert Wise was very agreeable to work with. She also added that there was frequent sand storms during the shooting and she had to wait for long. But the food was excellent, maybe too much for her, who had recurrent weight problems. She also avoided Cornell Wilde as much as she could, because he was not that sympathetic with her. Unlike Jeff Chandler. See more »
The film is set in 1864 but the pistol a trooper uses to nail up a picture appears to be a Remington model 1875 Single Action Army Revolver using metallic cartridges which wasn't introduced until 1875. He should have carried either a Colt 1860 Cap & Ball revolver or a Remington 1858 Cap & Ball revolver. See more »
This gritty western is a post-Civil War affair set in New Mexico where soldiers of the Blue and the Gray are obliged to let bygones be bygones and tame the wild frontier for westward expansion. The usual antagonisms are present in abundance, with Union officers reluctant to trust the Confederate troops and question their allegiance to the United States. A top cast is headed by Joseph Cotten and Jeff Chandler, who constantly spar with each other about men, munitions and how to meet the Indian threat. Linda Darnell is the lone femme in the cast and her presence sparks romantic interest and jealousy in equal measure at the army post. The Yank-Rebel forces manage to put their bickering aside to defend against an Indian attack that remains one of the best ever filmed. The black and white lensing is good and enhances director Robert Wise's fine film.
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