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O'Rourke of the Royal Mounted (1954)

Saskatchewan (original title)
Approved | | Adventure, Western | 30 March 1954 (USA)
In 1877 Western Canada, a police inspector revolts against his inept commander, taking a safer route to the U.S. border in order to stop invading hostile Indians.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Gil Doud (story), Gil Doud (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alan Ladd ... Thomas O'Rourke
Shelley Winters ... Grace Markey
J. Carrol Naish ... Batoche
Hugh O'Brian ... Carl Smith
Robert Douglas ... Benton
George J. Lewis ... Lawson
Richard Long ... Abbott
Jay Silverheels ... Cajou
Antonio Moreno ... Chief Dark Cloud
Frank Chase Frank Chase ... Keller
Lowell Gilmore ... Banks
Anthony Caruso ... Spotted Eagle
Henry Wills ... Merrill
Bob Herron ... Brill (as Robert D. Herron)
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Storyline

O'Rourke and his Cree half brother Cajou are returning from a northern Canadian trapping trip when they encounter a burned wagon train and sole survivor Grace. Naive Mountie commander Benton believes it to be a Cree attack. The Sioux from across the border are trying to force the Cree into being allies in their struggle with the U.S. 7th Cavalry. O'Rourke must mutiny to save the men. He must also aid Grace, in whom Marshal Smith has both official and unprovoked amorous interests. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...where the Royal Northwest Mounted Police stood alone against the fury of the Custer-massacring Sioux and the savage Cree Nation! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Casaca roja See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,250,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Canadian Big Band leader Moxie Whitney and his musicians were extras many times in this movie. They played the bad guys, the good guys as well as mounties. See more »

Goofs

The Northwest Mounted Police did not fight any battles with the Sioux. In fact the Sioux foray into Canada after Custer's Last Stand was quite peaceful. See more »

Quotes

Thomas O'Rourke: Must be tough on a woman, alone in this country.
See more »

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User Reviews

A solid and enjoyable b-movie western
17 August 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

O'Rourke is a red coat – no, not Butlins but a member of the Canadian Mounted Forces; and he is returning to service having travelled with his Cree Indian half brother Cajou. When he reaches his posting, his commander Benton immediately distrusts Cajou, driving a divide between the half brothers that see them separate. Escorting the beautiful survivor of a Sioux attack (Grace Markey) across the territory, the Mounties are fearful of the Sioux, even though O'Rourke can see their side of things – a viewpoint that makes him the target of suspicion and mistrust from Benton, Smith and others in the party.

The strange name attracted me to it, a statement that perhaps shows just how ignorant a person I really am! The cast also suggested that this would be a solid and enjoyable b-movie western that would meet my needs. The film actually did more than that and I found it to be an enjoyable if slightly apologetic b-movie that provided solid characters, a good plot and some exciting (if dated) action scenes. Of course it isn't anything that wonderful and those who dislike the genre would do well to avoid it for obvious reasons. The plot starts well, with some interesting character issues but then does little with them and heads into the usual b-movie territory, forgetting the more interest conflict between O'Rourke and Cajou that appeared to be the focus early on. That said it does well enough for the genre and provided enough entertainment for my needs.

Cinematography wise it looks good; despite the claim that it was all filmed in Saskatchewan the presence of rolling hills and impressive mountains suggest that perhaps this was not the case. Despite this it looks good, not John Ford but the bright colours and location feel that the better b-movies could muster. Ladd is enjoyably wide-chested in a typically heroic role and will please genre fans. Winters is a good female co-star, pretty enough to fill that role but feisty enough to avoid blandness. Silverheels has a smaller role than I would have liked and people like Long, Douglas and Naish all fill their roles well enough despite not doing anything in particular of merit.

Overall this is a solid b-movie western that does all that you expect it to and, if that is what you want, you'll enjoy it like I did. It could have done more of course but it works for what it is and the colourful presentation and solid pace help cover what "could have been" with what is.


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