6.4/10
3,943
38 user 32 critic

Apache (1954)

Passed | | Western | 8 October 1954 (Japan)
Refusing to let himself be re-settled on a Florida reservation, Massai, an Apache warrior, escapes his captors and returns to his homeland to become a peaceful farmer.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

James R. Webb (written for the screen by), Paul Wellman (novel) (as Paul I. Wellman)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Massai
Jean Peters ... Nalinle
John McIntire ... Al Sieber
Charles Bronson ... Hondo (as Charles Buchinsky)
John Dehner ... Weddle
Paul Guilfoyle ... Santos
Ian MacDonald ... Clagg
Walter Sande ... Lt. Col. Beck
Morris Ankrum ... Dawson
Monte Blue ... Geronimo
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Storyline

Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. Instead, he manages to escape and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers have other ideas though. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the story of Massai - last of the Apaches... Massai the unconquerable... Massai the Indian warrior who single-handedly held an entire U.S. Army at bay... A story told with all the drama of 'High Noon', filmed with all the power of 'Shane'! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There really was a renegade Apache warrior called Massai, who was a bloodthirsty killer renowned for stealing, raping and murdering. He did indeed escape from a prison train bound for Florida and made his way back to his homeland. It is, however, doubtful that he was six feet tall and had blue eyes like Burt Lancaster. See more »

Goofs

When Massai is moving through Clagg's barn, a mattress is seen being flopped into position on the bottom left of the screen, to be used for Clagg to land on after being hit by Massai. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lt. Col. Beck: Do you think he means it this time?
Al Sieber: We'll see.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: This is the story of Massai, the last Apache warrior. It has been told and re-told until it has become one of the great legends of the Southwest. It began in 1886 with Geronimo's surrender. See more »

User Reviews

 
Notable Western about a tough Apache warrior perfectly played by Burt Lancaster and masterfully directed by Robert Aldrich
12 February 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an exciting and masterful movie by the great Robert Aldrich , at his first and the best Western . Many years later bloody fighting with the settlers in the American frontier and a bitter battle between the Apaches and the US cavalry in the struggle for the West , the chief Apache Gerónimo is obliged to undertake a humiliating defeat . But his warrior more radical and violent named Maasai (Burt Lancaster), renounces to accept rendition . Maasai refuses to surrender and takes on the relentless American cavalry (John McIntire , Charles Bronson) , attempting to get a step ahead of the perfectly trained troopers ,all of them have vowed to kill him . Meanwhile , he falls in love for a gorgeous Apache woman (Jean Peters) . And as his crusade will precipitate toward an epic final battle . Maasai to be realized that he must persevere , not only for his life , but also by the pride of all his Apache race . There really was a renegade Apache warrior called Massai, who was a bloodthirsty killer renowned for stealing, raping and murdering. He did indeed escape from a prison train bound for Florida and made his way back to his homeland.

This thoughtful picture is an excellent adaptation based on the novel by Paul J. Wellman titled ¨Bronco Apache¨ . This film is , along with "Devil'S Doorway" and " Broken Arrow", one of the few titles of great quality shot in the 1950s to praise the figure of the Red Skins against White Men . Interestingly , the screenwriter James R Webb and the director Robert Aldrich found the character Maasai of the original novel very aggressive , so they decided to join an Apache woman well performed by the wonderful Jean Peters who married Howard Hughes . Lancaster makes an unforgettable and top-notch interpretation as a two-fisted warrior named Maasai , transmitting all the fierceness , nobility and ubiquity of his particularly stubborn role as well as unfriendly . A top-drawer western , the third feature film of the great Aldrich , here directing a Western masterpiece and to confirm with another great movie : "Vera Cruz" . "Apache" is a thrilling and vibrant story to deal with the figure of a rebel Indian ; the own Aldrich did in 1972 another splendid film with this theme : "Ulzana's raid" also with Lancaster as starring . The good of the screenplay is presented to the American Indian with dignity , honour and understanding . This is an intelligent , top-of-the-range piece for its time that had the original tragic final re-shot, against Aldrich's wishes , to make it more happy . He later concluded that "if you shoot two endings, they will always use the other one, never yours".

In ¨Apache¨ Robert Aldrich gave a tense and brilliant direction , though was shot in 30 days . Aldrich began writing and directing for TV series in the early 1950s, and directed his first feature in 1953 (Big Leaguer ,1953). Soon thereafter he established his own production company and produced most of his own films, collaborating in the writing of many of them . Directed in a considerable plethora of genres but almost all of his films contained a subversive undertone . He was an expert on warlike (Dirty Dozen , The Angry Hills , Attack , Ten seconds to hell) and Western (The Frisko kid , Ulzana's raid, Apache , Veracruz , The last sunset) . ¨Apache¨ is a masterful film in all aspects , is among the best westerns of the cinema . Rating : Above average , it's a must see and a standout in its genre ; thus, this film was a commercial success .


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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1954 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Bronco Apache See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,240,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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