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Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 1952 (UK)
After violently attacking a fellow officer Lt. Edward Garnett, cavalry Captain Kern Shafter is court martialled. Later, he rejoins the army with Custer's regiment at Fort Lincoln, Dakota, becoming a sergeant, where he runs into his old foe.

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(screenplay) (as Geoffrey Homes), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Kern Shafter
... Josephine Russell
... Capt. Edward Garnett
... Donavan
... Capt. Myles Moylan
... Lt. Smith
... Sgt. Hines
... May
... Bannack Bill
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Tinney
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Storyline

Kern Shafter arrives at a Dakota army post to find it commanded by his old nemesis Edward Garnett. Shafter and Garnett despise each other, and the antagonism ripens in a competition for the affections of Josephine Russell, a beautiful young woman. Garnett repeatedly attempts to diminish Shafter in Josephine's eyes, and he sends Shafter on dangerous missions, clearly hoping Shafter will not return. A scouting mission in support of General Custer's command leads both Shafter and Garnett into the most dangerous circumstance of their lives. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WHEN FLAMING ARROWS WERE THE SCOURGE OF THE DAKOTA TERRITORY! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Die schwarzen Reiter von Dakota  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a city in California named Shafter, located in Kern County, between Bakersfield and Porterville. It is unknown whether this influenced the name of the lead character, Kern Shafter. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt doubles used in the fight between Shafter and Donavan and in the two fights between Shafter and Garnett. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Glass Wall (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Reasonable film adaptation of respected Little Big Horn novel
6 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

The book "Bugles in the Afternoon" is regarded as one of the better novels relating to Custer's Last Stand, and this film is a reasonable adaptation, not that it devotes much time to the battle itself. Rather it concentrates on a love triangle, with some good cavalry action with the Indians that is almost incidental to the Custer massacre.

I blinked a little at Kern Shafter's appearance on arriving to enlist at Fort Abraham Lincoln; he looked extremely smart, even for the gambler he had become. I assume his motivation in rejoining the colours was nostalgia for army life,though this wasn't completely evident.

The well-known participants in the battle - Custer, Reno, Benteen - don't get much screen time, and the General himself has only a few lines. At least he looks the part, with the short hair he favoured for a hot campaign rather than his trademark long locks. Purists may raise their eyebrows at the cavalry using repeating rifles, when in fact they carried single-shot carbines, and pack-animals rather than the wagons shown supplied the troops in the general battlefield area.

But all in all, it's a reasonable cavalry Western, but not in the same league as those of John Wayne and John Ford.


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