When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian tribes, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. The only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
In the 1830's beaver trapper Flint Mitchell and other white men hunt and trap in the then unnamed territories of Montana and Idaho. Flint marries a Blackfoot woman as a way to gain entrance into her people's rich lands, but finds she means more to him than a ticket to good beaver habitat.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
Lon Chaney Jr was up for the part eventually played by James Whitmore. Whitmore was cast because he was under contract to MGM and it was cheaper to hire contract players as opposed to Chaney who was a freelance actor. See more »
When the horse with Gable's son runs away. the child is originally on the right side of the horse. The succeeding shot shows him on the left side of the horse. Later shots show him back on the right side. The anomalous shot is shown again later with the baby now on the correct (right) side, indicating that the film had been flipped. See more »
My father told me that for the first time, he saw these Indians as he had never seen them before - as people with homes and traditions and ways of their own. Suddenly they were no longer savages. They were people who laughed and loved and dreamed.
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This is one of Clark Gable's better films of the 1950s, though it never really got that much attention and many have unjustly written it off as "just another Western". However, if you watch it you'll find that the film has two major points that make it unique and a very beautiful film. First, the film is about the period BEFORE that shown in most Westerns. The typical Hollywood Western occurs between 1866-1880, though there are a few exceptions before and after. However, very few deal with life in the West circa 1829 when the only White men were fur trappers. Since I am a history teacher, I admire this about ACROSS THE WIDE MISSOURI. Second, the film humanizes the Native Americans much more than most films and there are no "black and white" groups in the film. Many of the Indians are quite decent but they also are not uniformly good either--and the same goes for the trappers. I particularly loved the relationship that developed between Clark Gable and his Indian bride. It did a lot to build sympathy for the characters and once again truly humanized both characters. The only real negative about this is that three of the key Indian roles are played by non-Indians (J. Carrol Naish, María Elena Marqués and Ricardo Montalban)--a standard practice in the time it was made.
While these two points make this a memorable film, it sure doesn't hurt that this film has some of the most vivid and beautiful scenery of any film of the 1950s. It's obvious that this wasn't filmed on some sound stage or filmed in the outskirts of Los Angeles! So overall, what's not to like about this film?! Excellent acting, a great script and a uniqueness make this a film worth seeking.
By the way, this film is highly reminiscent of the wonderful Robert Redford film, JEREMIAH JOHNSON--another film well worth your time.
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