Army deserter Bart Laish decides that the best way for him to get away is to join a wagon train headed for Oregon. They're about a week ahead of him and on the trail Bart comes across an old friend, Major Andy Pepperis who is dying from wounds received in an Indian attack. He warns Bart that the Indians will next attack the wagon train and afterward finds the army station, Camp Taylor, destroyed. He assumes Pepperis' identity and catches up to the wagon train taking command of the soldiers escorting it. He proves to be a capable leader and quickly gains everyone's respect. As they get closer to their destination, Bart is closer to being caught and has to decide if and when he will leave them.Written by
This was Allied Artists first movie to used a 1.85 aspect ratio. All previous widescreen product by Allied Artists was composed for 1.66. See more »
About 45 minutes into the movie Major Pepperis has his pants leg cut off by Stella so that she can bandage his leg. Then he goes to solve a problem with one of the wagons. When he returns his pants leg is un-torn and his leg is not bandaged. See more »
It's clearly common knowledge out here that most Indians do not like to fight at night. An Indian killed at night, they believe, wanders forever in darkness.
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Sterling Hayden stars in this fast moving western about an army deserter who takes the place of his dying cousin and leads a wagon train out of danger from Indian attack. We never get the back story here, why Hayden deserted, we're told he's not a person of good character, but what we see of him he's pretty noble. Certainly he provides the leadership that does the job even if civilian scout Tom Tully knows who the real army major is and it's definitely not Hayden.
But there's more than one person on the wagon train who is not whom he seems to be. Rich merchant Tudor Owen is carrying both rifles and whiskey and the Indians want them real bad, they don't even want to wait to pay for them. Seems to me they should have just waited and paid Owen's price.
That however would have gotten in the way of the action and veteran western director Lesley Selander was known for action. The battle scenes are well staged.
It's a good B western could have been better with a little more attention to the story.
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