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Fort Yuma (1955)

Approved | | Western | 4 October 1955 (USA)
A disgruntled settler kills an Apache chief at Fort Yuma, and the fort's commander knows that the chief's son, Manga Colorado, will seek revenge and go on the warpath. He sends word by a ... See full summary »


Lesley Selander


Danny Arnold (story), Danny Arnold (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Peter Graves ... Lt. Ben Keegan
Joan Vohs ... Melanie Crown
John Hudson ... Sgt. Jonas
Joan Taylor ... Francesca
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Sgt. Milo Hallock (as Wm. {Bill} Phillips)
James O'Hara ... Cpl. Taylor (as James Lilburn)
Abel Fernandez ... Mangas
Addison Richards ... Gen. Crook


A disgruntled settler kills an Apache chief at Fort Yuma, and the fort's commander knows that the chief's son, Manga Colorado, will seek revenge and go on the warpath. He sends word by a courier to Fort Apache where a supply column is due to head across the desert to Fort Yuman, but the courier is killed by Mangas. The column, under the command of Lieutenant Ben Keegan who hates Apaches because he doesn't trust them, and because his assigned scout is Jonas, the brother of an Apache girl, Francesca, whom Keegan has been having an affair with. Also accompanying them is Melanie Crowne, who is going to do missionary work among the Apaches. Mangas attacks the column wiping out everybody but Keegan, Jonas and Melanie. Francesca is killed while trying to warn Keegan, and he realizes how foolish he had been in his prejudice and in keeping his love secret. The Apaches, dressed in the uniforms of the dead soldier, plan to gain entrance to Fort Yuma and massacre the men there. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 October 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Yuma erőd See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bel-Air Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Despite what another Trivia entry claims, the number of on-screen killings in the film was not reduced to 10 for censorship reasons. In fact, there are over 30 on-screen killings during the course of the film, of whites and Indians. See more »


Capt. Santley, sending a message to the General, orders Pvt. Cassidy to "step on it". This phrase, to go fast, came from foot pedals in automobiles and pressing down to go faster. It would not have been a phrase used in the wild west. See more »

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User Reviews

Standard Western about a cavalry expedition heading for Fort Yuma Arizona and along the way suffering native american attack
21 December 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The picture gets Western action , shootouts , US cavalry go riding , a love story with interracial relationship , and it results to be an enjoyable tale . A disgruntled settler kills an Apache chief at a cavalry post , and the fort's commander knows that Mangas Coloradas is dead assigning a dangerous misssion to a tough Lieutenant and then the chief's son , Mangas (Abel Fernández) , will seek vengeance and to go on the warpath. General Crook (Addison Richards) sends word by a courier , behind enemy lines , to Fort Apache , Arizona , where a supply column is due to head across the desert to Fort Yuma , but the courier is killed by Apache Indians . The column along with covered wagons , supplies , repeating rifles , Winchester rifles , ammunition , all of them under the command of a hater officer named Keegan (Peter Graves) who suspects on his assigned scout , Jonas (John Hudson) , the sibling of an Apache woman, Francesca (Joan Taylor) , whom Keegan has been having an affair with. Also accompanying them is Melanie Crowne (Joan Vohs) , who is going to do missionary work among the Indians. Later on , Apache Mangas attacks the column wiping out some soldiers and taking their clothes .

Set during the Arizona Indian Wars with the violent upheaval of brave chiefs as : Cochise , Jeronimo , Vitorio , Mangas Coloradas , when fear and violence spread throughout the land .This one shows a campy , amusing and entertaining glimpse in the Wild West . The film packs thrills , noisy action , horse pursuits , crossfire , high body-count , cavalry charges and it is fast-moving and quite entertaining . It's a medium budget film with acceptable actors , technicians , functional production values and pleasing results . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shoot'em up or stunts every few minutes .Bursting with appealing characters, thought-provoking themes as racism and homosexuality as the peculiar relationship among two soldiers , sub-plots , symbols , and with very decent filmmaking and interpretation . There is an odd implementation of shots in the camera work during some particular scenes as the film approaches its climax , as the battles between cavalry and Apaches who dressed in the uniforms of the dead soldiers scheme to gain entrance to Fort Yuma , to carry out a slaughter . Nice production design creating an adequate scenario with luminous outdoors , plains , montains and rocky landscapes under a glimmer sun and atmospheric sets but in B-series style . To avoid the Production Code Administration to rate it as inappropriate because it contained too much sadism and excessive gruesomenes producers Howard W. Koch and Aubrey Schenck reduced the number of murders . It stars the always agreeable Peter Graves, though here in a bigotry role , a Lieutenant called Ben Keegan who hates Apaches but he gets redemption when he realizes how foolish he had been in his prejudice and in keeping a love secret . Peter drafted United States Air Force, he studied drama at the University of Minnesota and then headed to Hollywood, where he first appeared on television and later made his film debut in Rogue River (1951). Numerous film appearances followed, especially in Westerns . However, Graves is primarily recognized for his television work, particularly as Jim Phelps in Mission impossible (1966). He made movies of all kinds of genres , Sci-Fi, drama , Western , Warlike , comedy , such as : Stalag , Beneath the 12-mile reef , It conquered the world , Killers from space , The clonus horror , The court martial of Billy Mitchell , The winds of war , Sergeant Ryker , Cruise missile , Legend of the Sea Wolf , Scream of the Wolf, Texas across the river , The Guns and the Fury , The rebels , Survival run, Let's make up , The night of the hunter , The slipper and the rose , being especially known for his special appearances in : Airplane I and II and Men in Black 2 . Peter Graves died of a heart attack on March 14, 2010, just four days before his 84th birthday. His partenaires are two beautiful and attractive girls : Joan Taylor and Joan Vohs . They are accompanied by a fine support cast , such as : John Hudson , James O'Hara , Abel Fernandez as Mangas and Addison Richards as Gen. Crook .

Thrilling and stirring musical score by Paul Dunlap . And colorful as well as brilliant cinematography by Gordon Avil . The motion picture efficiently produced by Howard W Koch , being professionally directed by Lesley Selander . Selander is generally considered to be the most prolific director of feature Westerns of all time , with at least 107 to his credit between 1935 and 1967. He realized his first feature in 1936, a western , genre in which he would not only excel but one where he would spent much of the rest of his career. Although Selander couldn't be deemed an "A"-list director, his movies had a professionalism and a verve that many of those made by his fellow B directors lacked . As he made a lot of Western , as he began in this genre with series starred by Buck Jones and ¨Hopalong Cassidy¨ series starred by William Boyd such as ¨Silver on the sage¨ , ¨Three men from Texas¨ and ¨Wide open town¨. In Republic production he directed his better movies such as ¨Panhandle¨and ¨Stampede¨ starred by Rod Cameron and in RKO he directed Tim Holt in 20 films such as ¨Rio Grande patrol¨ and ¨Overland telegraph¨. Selander finished directing about 106 horse operas helmed between 1917 and 1949 . He subsequently shot B-movies such as ¨Fort Vengeance¨, ¨Left handed law¨, ¨Heritage of the desert¨, ¨Arrow in the desert¨, ¨Shotgun¨, ¨Town tamer¨ and his last picture ¨Texas Kid¨ filmed in Spain with Audie Murphy . He also filmed detective thrillers, action/adventure motion pictures and even a horror film or two . One standout that is seldom seen nowadays, however, is ¨Return from the Sea¨ (1954), a sentimental and lyrical story . The last few feature films he made, in the mid- and late 1960s, were a string of what's come to be known as "geezer westerns" churned out by producer A.C. Lyles, embarrassing efforts made on the cheap that were meant to give employment to aging cowboy stars , the less said about them . Rating : 5.5/10 . Acceptable and passable . Well worth watching .

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