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Tomahawk (1951)

Approved | | History, Romance, Western | 5 February 1951 (USA)
In 1866 Wyoming, a frontier scout tries to prevent a war between the Sioux and the U.S. when the Army builds a road and a fort on territory previously ceded to the Sioux by treaty.

Director:

George Sherman

Writers:

Silvia Richards (screenplay), Maurice Geraghty (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Bridger
Yvonne De Carlo ... Julie Madden
Alex Nicol ... Lt. Rob Dancy
Preston Foster ... Col. Carrington
Jack Oakie ... Sol Beckworth
Tom Tully ... Dan Castello
John War Eagle ... Red Cloud
Rock Hudson ... Burt Hanna
Susan Cabot ... Monahseetah
Arthur Space ... Captain Fetterman
Russ Conway ... Major Horton (as Russell Conway)
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Carrington
Stuart Randall ... Sergeant Newell
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Storyline

In 1866, a new gold discovery and an inconclusive conference force the U.S. Army to build a road and fort in territory ceded by previous treaty to the Sioux...to the disgust of frontier scout Jim Bridger, whose Cheyenne wife led him to see the conflict from both sides. The powder-keg situation needs only a spark to bring war, and violent bigots like Lieut. Rob Dancy are all too likely to provide this. Meanwhile, Bridger's chance of preventing catastrophe is dimmed by equally wrenching personal conflicts. Unusually accurate historically. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Glory Story of the Great Sioux Indian Uprising!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tomahawk - Aufstand der Sioux See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The main action towards the end re-enacts the 'Fetterman Fight' (aka 'Fetterman Massacre') an actual event that took place in December 21 1866. The basic facts are correct - reinforcements are set to protect a wagon train of soldiers gone to collect wood. However, the numbers of troops involved and their disposition are incorrect. Fetterman had 49 infantry (none in this film) and 27 cavalry as part of his detachment (all were killed). Similarly there were significantly more Indians attacking them. As the fight occurred in December, there were areas of snow and ice in the higher areas around the fort. No secondary attack took place against a relief force. See more »

Goofs

When Dancy is shot and killed by an arrow, padding can clearly be seen beneath his shirt. See more »

Quotes

Dan Castello: I have to keep moving. Got iron in my blood. If I sit still, I rust.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Magnificent Western
31 July 2006 | by hpkenzoSee all my reviews

This great 1951 western just seems to get better with age. Having seen the film many times over the years but again today on TV, I really think this is one of the best westerns of the period and one that stands the test of time. Filmed in a documentary style ( Voice-over at beginning and end etc.)and influenced by the previous year's hit ' Broken Arrow', this film is actually an improvement as it does away with any romance that dominated the earlier film and concentrates on the story of Jim Bridger an Indian scout trying to keep peace between the army & the Sioux, who are trying to secure land rights. Based on the real life adventurer, the script while simplified remains intelligent with the accent on action but is unusually sympathetic to the Indians for 1951. Engrossing and beautifully photographed by Charles P Boyle (Old Yeller, Davy Crockett) in glorious Technicolor. Van Heflin gives a very convincing performance as Jim Bridger and it's good to see native actors playing native Indians & speaking in their native tongue! There are distinct parallels here with Costner's 'Dances with Wolves' ( actually filmed in the same area of Dakota)and interesting comparisons could be made with the award winning 1990 epic but whilst I admire the more recent film, 'Tomahawk' is the one I look forward to seeing again, all economically packaged in only 82 minutes!


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