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.


Gordon Douglas


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




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


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


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


Adventure | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Trooper Onstott, referred to as a "Reb from a prison camp", would have been what was known as a "galvanized Yankee," a term used only during the Civil War between for Confederate POWs who took the oath of loyalty to the US, and were sent west to protect the frontier. Therefore, the movie takes place during the Civil War. Another film that used that same practice as part of its story line was Two Flags West (1950). See more »


When Cpl. Gilchrist tells Trooper Saxton to go get him a new pick, Saxton places his shovel against the stone wall and leaves, you can plainly see the shovel start to fall. The next shot shows Saxton (below) and Gilchrist (above), but no shovel on the ground. See more »


Sgt. Ben Murdock: Five years I've been in the Army, and I get captured on account of a dirty Reb.
See more »


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


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

User Reviews

Extremely violent for the time.
3 February 2001 | by ballystykSee all my reviews

I saw this film twice, both by accident. It is one of those movies that only gets shown at 3:00 am because it is so intense. After seeing this you can understand why John Huston picked Gregory Peck to play Captain Ahab in his version of "Moby Dick". This is a character you can only hate until he redeems himself. The Indians are a serious force of nature whose periodic attacks you fear because the aftermath of each one is so bloody you cringe instinctively which is why I am glad the movie is in Black and White. Gordon Douglas, who also directed one of the greatest monster movies of all time, "THEM", really understands the art of building tension and the pain of violence. Lon Chaney Jr's character goes through some of the same sadistically disturbing drama that Gene Hackman went through when his character was shot in "Bonnie and Clyde". A real nail-biter.

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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