18 user 4 critic

The Charge at Feather River (1953)

Passed | | Western | 11 July 1953 (USA)
In Colorado territory, Miles Archer is asked by the cavalry at Fort Bellows to aid in rescuing two white women abducted by the Cheyenne and to provide security for the railroad construction teams.


Gordon Douglas


James R. Webb




Cast overview, first billed only:
Guy Madison ... Miles Archer
Frank Lovejoy ... Sgt. Charlie Baker
Helen Westcott ... Anne McKeever
Vera Miles ... Jennie McKeever
Dick Wesson ... Pvt. Cullen
Onslow Stevens ... Grover Johnson
Steve Brodie ... Pvt. Ryan
Ron Hagerthy ... Johnny McKeever
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Lt. Col. Kilrain
Neville Brand ... Pvt. Morgan
Henry Kulky ... Pvt. Smiley
Lane Chandler ... Pvt. Zebulon Poinsett
Fred Carson Fred Carson ... Chief Thunder Hawk
James Brown ... Pvt. Connors
Ralph Brooks Ralph Brooks ... Pvt. Wilhelm


The story involves an overland journey through hostile Cheyenne territory to rescue two white women captured by the Cheyenne. One has turned renegade and is not anxious to be rescued as she is about to be married to Chief Thunder Hawk. Vera Miles dies and the cavalry comes to the rescue in the nick of time by a stream called Feather River. Knives, arrows, spears and tomahawks all come flying at the audience. Frank Lovejoy discourages a rattlesnake with tobacco juice and even gets off a shot into the audience. Written by Tom Kresin <tomk@meaddata.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gallantry Never Equalled! Spectacle Never Before Seen! See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This was one of just three films released theatrically in "WarnerPhonic" sound, an early four-channel surround sound system. Unfortunately, only the mono version of the soundtrack has survived. See more »


When Morgan sets Jennie free, she takes his revolver and then falls from the cliff, taking his revolver with her. In subsequent shots, however, Morgan has a pistol again. See more »


Grover Johnson, Artist: Well, if they had squaws with them, they would hardly be on the warpath, would they?
Miles Archer: Anybody who tells you he can figure Indians - he's lyin'!
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Wilhelm Screams (2015) See more »

User Reviews

A Special Cheer for Private Wilhelm
11 September 2018 | by Uriah43See all my reviews

After two white women are abducted and taken hostage by the Cheyenne, a frontiersman by the name of "Miles Archer" (Guy Madison) is recruited by the commander of a nearby fort to retrieve them. Accompanying him are several soldiers who have recently gotten into trouble and have been placed under his authority in order to have their punishment reduced. To complicate matters even further, a railroad is being built through Cheyenne territory and this has stirred up the local tribes as well. Now rather than going any further I will just say that this was a decent Western which had a couple of unique innovations in its favor. For starters, it was filmed in a basic version of 3D which is evidenced by the number of shots that feature arrows and spears appearing to come directly at the camera. Likewise, it also incorporated a special audio effect known as the "Wilhelm scream" which was used in a specific incident involving a soldier named "Private Wilhelm" (Ralph Brooks) being shot in the leg with an arrow and this unique sound has since been used in hundreds of other movies afterward. Additionally, having a beautiful actress like Vera Miles (as "Jennie McKeever") dressed in buckskin didn't hurt the film in any way either. Be that as it may, I found this film to be entertaining for the most part and have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

11 July 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Burning Arrow See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (WarnerPhonic/RCA Sound System)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed