6.2/10
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16 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.

Director:

Lesley Selander

Writers:

Richard Alan Simmons (screenplay), Harold Jack Bloom (story)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Rory Calhoun ... Adam Reed
Peggie Castle ... Katherine Bohlen
Noah Beery Jr. ... Tonio Perez (as Noah Beery)
Warner Anderson ... Maj. Ives
Peter Graves ... Walt Sawyer
Lee Van Cleef ... Fire Knife
Rita Moreno ... Honey Bear
Dan Riss ... Sgt. Bandini
Walter Reed ... Keats
Patrick Sexton Patrick Sexton ... Lt. Bascomb (as Patrick Joseph Sexton)
Robert Bray ... Lt. Banion
Adam Williams ... Cpl. Maddock
James Best ... Pvt. Bliss
Ned Glass ... 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! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fire Knife See more »

Filming Locations:

Colorado City, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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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 mvescoviSee 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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