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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 ... Major 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 ... Lieutenant Banion
Adam Williams ... Cpl. Maddock
James Best ... Private Bliss
Ned Glass ... Willy
Edit

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:

See RITA MORENO - LIFE's Sex and Innocence Cover Girl! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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

 
Major With Issues
24 June 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although color would have been nice for this western shot on location in Kanab, Utah, The Yellow Tomahawk is no frills, brutal, and bloody western about some survivors of a massacre trying to make it home to safety. The Cheyennes however are only retaliating for the infamous Sand Creek Massacre in which the commanding officer had a big part. The commander is Major Warner Anderson who has some real issues of his own.

Rory Calhoun and Noah Beery, Jr. play a couple of scouts who see the problem, but are helpless with Anderson's intransigence and stupidity. Anderson even after Sand Creek is now building an army fort on Cheyenne land and the Cheyenne don't take kindly to that. They send the army warning signal of The Yellow Tomahawk which is their way of saying clear out. The scenes of the massacre of the cavalry and some civilians including women is not for the squeamish.

Peggie Castle and Rita Moreno play the women paired with Calhoun and Beery. Peter Graves is a shifty gold prospector. But the film belongs to Warner Anderson, this might be his career role. You won't believe why he ordered the Sand Creek massacre, but it's actually curiously relevant to issues coming before the Supreme Court to be rendered as I write this.


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