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15 user 1 critic

The Yellow Tomahawk (1954)

Approved | | Western | May 1954 (USA)
When the army insists on building a fort on Indian land, in defiance of a treaty, the warnings of a scout go unheeded.

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Tonio Perez (as Noah Beery)
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Walt Sawyer
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Fire Knife
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Honey Bear
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Sgt. Bandini
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Keats
Patrick Sexton ...
Lt. Bascomb (as Patrick Joseph Sexton)
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Lieutenant Banion
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Cpl. Maddock
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Private Bliss
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Willy
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Storyline

In Wyoming Territory, army Major Ives and his men are building a temporary camp. The civilian surveyor, Mr. Keats is making preparations for the construction of a large permanent fort. However, the future fort is being erected on Cheyenne lands, in defiance of the treaty. Adam Reed is a self employed scout with friendly ties to the Cheyenne. Upset about the construction of the new fort on their lands, the Cheyenne ask scout Reed to contact Major Ives and deliver their message of grievance to him. The symbolic message consists of a yellow tomahawk as a warning against the building of a new fort in the area. Reed delivers the warning message to Major Ives but he is not taken serious. Major Ives lectures Reed about the need of bringing civilization to the lands that otherwise would go to waste under the savages. Reed retorts that Major Ives' only duty is to escort wagon trains of settlers passing through Cheyenne territory rather than build new forts in violation of the treaty. Reed also... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Indian Scout and a Blonde Wildcat . . . They Faced the Most Savage of All Indian Raids!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fire Knife  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Another western sleeper from the 1950s with good plot, acting, characters of some depth , and violent action
7 May 2008 | by See all my reviews

Major Ives (Warner Anderson), one of the commanding officers of the infamous Sand Creek Massacre ( an actual event) is building a fort in Cheyenne territory. Fireknife(Lee Van Cleef) , tells his friend Adam Reed (Rory Calhoun) to warn the soldiers that they must go or be killed. This is a true act of decency as they know the butcher Ives is in command and they really want him: and revenge for the slaughter he caused. Reed and Fireknife may actually have been blood brothers as they refer to each other as brothers and Reed tells Catherine (Peggy Castle) "the Indians are as much my people as you are." The arrogant Ives won't listen, the Indians attack and the action is unusually violent for it's time. (When Catherine tries to find her former fiancé she says, with a look of horror " I can't tell if it's him") The survivors are forced to go through Cheyenne territory to another fort to reach safety, and this sets up a confrontation between friend Reed and Fireknife.

This is another example of a modestly budgeted western with a superior script, very good acting and characters of some depth. Also, the Indians are not the "bad guys". Reed tells Catherine " It might surprise you but Indians love their children and are loyal to their friends." And Fireknife does save his life There is also a very interesting twist in the end which I do not believe has been done before or since. Definitely worth seeing.

The film was originally shot in color but only black and white prints were every released on television. This film deserves to be restored.


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