Gilliat,a fisherman/smuggler is in jail, and is offered a pardon, if he undertakes a mission to sail to France to rescue Douchette, an English agent, whose cover has been blown,and who has now been jailed. Gilliat accepts the challenge.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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