6.5/10
1,234
33 user 22 critic

Only the Valiant (1951)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 21 April 1951 (USA)
A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Edmund H. North (screenplay), Harry Brown (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Capt. Richard Lance
Barbara Payton ... Cathy Eversham
Ward Bond ... Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist
Gig Young ... Lt. William Holloway
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Trooper Kebussyan (as Lon Chaney)
Neville Brand ... Sgt. Ben Murdock
Jeff Corey ... Joe Harmony
Warner Anderson ... Trooper Rutledge
Steve Brodie ... Trooper Onstot
Dan Riss ... Lt. Jerry Winters
Terry Kilburn ... Trooper Saxton
Herbert Heyes ... Col. Drumm
Art Baker ... Capt. Jennings
Hugh Sanders ... Capt. Eversham
Michael Ansara ... Tucsos
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Storyline

Capt. Richard Lance is unjustly held responsible, by his men and girlfriend, for an Indian massacre death of beloved Lt. Holloway. Holloway is killed while escorting a dangerous Indian chief to another fort's prison. The chief escapes. Knowing their fort is in danger of Indian attack, Lance takes a small group of army misfits to an abandoned nearby army fort to defend a mountain pass against the oncoming Indian assault. Their mission is to stall for time until reinforcements from another fort arrive. The men in this small group of malcontents, deserters, psychopaths and cowards all hate Capt. Lance and wish him dead. Much to their chagrin, the men recognize that Lance's survival instincts, military knowledge and leadership are the only chance the group has of staying alive. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY WERE SIX AND THEY FOUGHT LIKE SIX HUNDRED! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a biography Gregory Peck himself authorized, during filming he had an affair with Barbara Payton. See more »

Goofs

A time line was never developed. Since there was ongoing trouble between the Sgt. and one of the troopers who was formerly a rebel soldier, this had to take place during the Civil war or just after. They do mention that the Gatling gun was just developed, which would make it during the Civil war. All the troopers are carrying Winchester rifles and Colt single action army revolvers, not manufactured until the 1870's. The song, 'Little Brown Jug', is heard and it was written in 1869. See more »

Quotes

Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist: A-rab, what do you think about when you're thirsty?
Trooper Kebussyan: [stoutly] Water.
Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist: [in disbelief] Water!
Trooper Kebussyan: Sometimes melons.
Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist: [sarcastically] Oh, you're a great help. A great help.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in L'important c'est d'aimer (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Brown Jug
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Winner
Played by a harmonica player in the barracks
See more »

User Reviews

 
Powerful and Memorable; Very-Well Acted western Drama With a Large Cast
20 June 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

This is a luminously photographed and unusually well-written western by veteran creator of "Rawhide" Charles Marquis Warren. Direcxtor Gordon Douglas is its chief help in this regard. Its strong plot line can be told in a few sentences. A hard-nosed by-the- book, Cavalry officer, Captain Richard Lance, captures a leader of the Indian enemy after a massacre at a fort. He insists on bringing the man back for trial, to be sent toTucson; his commander sends another man to try to take the prisoner for trial and the patrol is wiped out. This means the leader has escaped, and Lance must now lead a second patrol--and he picks the men the fort can most spare, a company of problems-- to defend the advance fort that had been wiped out and save the command from another attack by stopping up the bottleneck pass in that sector. As Lance, young Gregory Peck is quite strong. Other in the large cast of this film which really shows life at a cavalry outpost looking like an army establishment of heterogeneous and quarreling types includes War Bond powerful as a hard-drinking sergeant, Neville Brand and Steve Brodie as troublemakers, Warner Anderson and Lon Chaney Jr. as psychological troublemakers and Gig Young, Art Baker, Herbert Heyes as fellow officers with Nana Bryant as the Colonel's wife. Even Barbara Payton as the love interest gets by in a difficult role; Michael Ansara is the captured war chief, and Jeff Corey plays the Fort's scout. There are really two great scenes in this very-well-made western--the long section at the fort before the last patrol is sent out, and that long patrol to the doomed Ft. Defiant itself. Once at that fort, Peck gets to deliver a grand speech in which at the demand of the men he has lined up for orders, he tells them each why he took them along. reading them their shortcomings one by one; they then tell them why they think he sent his best friend to die in his place take the Indian in instead of going himself-- and he proves them wrong for the remainder of the film by winning his lonely battle through intelligence and courage. The music by Franz Waxman is good, the production qualities admirable; the argument about what would happen if Lance takes the war chief in happens to be true; other than this unsolvable mistake by the central character, this is is great western. it has been a favorite of mine for fifty years.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fort Invincible See more »

Filming Locations:

Gallup, New Mexico, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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