At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.
The sailing vessel Cannibal has a leaking hull. The captain (Rock Hudson) reluctantly changes course for Honolulu, where one passenger (Cyd Charisse) is wanted by the law. The water rising, everyone struggles against nature to survive.
Having a welcome strategic expertise in both the hot and dank Florida swamplands and the local tribe of Seminole Indians, the brilliant and ethical West Point graduate, Second Lieutenant Lance Caldwell, is transferred to scheming Major Degan's Everglades outpost, in 1835. Supposedly impeding the development of white civilisation, the Seminoles must be expelled from their native lands at all costs; all that stands between the aspirations of the venomous commanding officer and the last of the Indian clans is Caldwell. Sooner or later, a dead sentry and a fiery clash with the men of the powerful Seminole leader, Chief Osceola, will stain the vast and impassable marshes with blood, as a strong-willed beautiful woman stands in the middle. Can Caldwell be the voice of reason and compromise?Written by
Better than average drama with a decidedly pro Indian slant was one of the many films Rock cranked out on his way up, this was one of seven pictures he made in 1953. He gives a good performance, one of his better early ones, as the resolute soldier who is on trial for his life.
The cast is full of familiar faces most of whom were also just starting out and would go on to greater fame like Lee Marvin, in good guy mode here, and Russell Johnson. Richard Carlson is the sore spot in the picture, he starts out okay but ends up chewing the scenery in an over the top performance.
Barbara Hale was never particularly well served by films having much more success on TV as Della Street on Perry Mason nor is she very well used here but she looks probably the best she ever did on screen beautifully shot in Technicolor and as Revere Muldoon has one of the greatest character names ever. Not really a western, not even set in the west but Florida this is an enjoyable picture especially for military history buffs.
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