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The Savage (1952)

Passed | | Action, Romance, Western | September 1952 (USA)
A white boy raised by the Sioux must choose sides when the Sioux threaten to go to war against the Whites.


George Marshall


L.L. Foreman (novel), Sydney Boehm (screenplay)

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Cast overview:
Charlton Heston ... James 'Jim' Aherne Jr. / War Bonnet
Susan Morrow ... Tally Hathersall
Peter Hansen ... Lt. Weston Hathersall (as Peter Hanson)
Joan Taylor ... Luta
Richard Rober ... Capt. Arnold Vaugant
Don Porter ... Running Dog (as Donald Porter)
Ted de Corsia ... Iron Breast
Ian MacDonald ... Chief Yellow Eagle
Milburn Stone ... Cpl. Martin
Angela Clarke ... Pehangi
Orley Lindgren Orley Lindgren ... 'Whooper' Aherne, Jim as a boy
Michael Tolan ... Long Mane
Howard Negley ... Col. Robert Ellis (as Howard J. Negley)
Frank Richards ... Sgt. Norris


The only white survivor of a Crow Indian raid on a wagon train is a young boy. He is rescued by the Sioux, and the Sioux chief raises him as an Indian in very way. Years later, the white men and the Sioux threaten to go to war and the Indian-raised white man is torn between his racial loyalties and his adopted tribe. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Savage in Battle...Savage in Love! In his arms a woman forgot everything...remembered only that he was a man! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der weiße Sohn der Sioux See more »

Filming Locations:

South Dakota, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Raised By The Sioux
31 October 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

To a large degree calling this film The Savage is quite the misnomer because Charlton Heston as the lead character is anything, but savage. Heston who starts out in the film with his character as a child played by Orley Lindgren is the only survivor of a wagon train massacre by the Crow Indians. A band of Sioux drive off the Crow who are their bitter enemies and take in Heston who is raised by the Sioux and given the Indian name War Bonnet.

That's his last real contact with white people until years later he rescues some cavalry troopers pinned down by the Crows who are his mortal enemies now as well. Lieutenant Peter Hansen brings him to the cavalry fort where he's accepted and even evinces some interest by Hansen's sister Susan Morrow.

But when Heston's own Indian sister Joan Taylor is killed by some other troopers the Sioux call for war and Heston is in the fight.

The Savage is a sincerely made effort at showing the American Indians as three dimensional characters in line with Broken Arrow and Devil's Doorway which came out a couple of years earlier. But the script and plot are totally muddled and with it Heston's character. In the end I'm not sure how or why he was doing what he did.

Heston does well in the part and another crucial role of note is that of Indian hating army captain Richard Rober whose career was cut short when he was killed in an automobile accident. He played a fine selection of villains in his short career and his last film was released five years after he died. Rober probably hid his face in shame in an afterlife when Jet Pilot came out.

In Heston's early years between those two DeMille epics The Greatest Show On Earth and The Ten Commandments his films varied in quality from good to mediocre. The Savage kind of falls between both categories, good intentions with poor execution.

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