At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.
Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
Johnny Hawks, a former Indian fighter, returns to the West after the Civil War. He reacquaints himself with the Indian band led by Red Cloud. Red Cloud's beautiful daughter has now grown into womanhood... Unscrupulous whisky traders are after the gold on Indian land. Hawks averts serious bloodshed by convincing Red Cloud to make a treaty... Hawks leads an Oregon-bound wagon train through Indian territory. When he slips away to see the chief's daughter, trouble between braves and whisky traders flares up anew, putting the wagon train and the nearby fort in peril...Written by
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 6.8 seconds, fast for an early CinemaScope film. See more »
Right before the Indians tie Todd to the tree with the intention of burning him, he's having a conversation with Johnny. During this conversation, Johnny's left arm repeatedly changes positions, from being stretched out against the tree, to holding his hat in front of him and back to stretched out against the tree. See more »
I've always enjoyed Kirk Douglas films in general and he's usually very good in westerns. But The Indian Fighter quite frankly is a pumped up B western.
Kirk produced this one as well and was able to get a good cast of familiar faces in westerns. He even got his ex-wife, Diana Douglas to appear as a widow traveling west on a wagon train with her son.
Kirk Douglas is Johnny Hawks who is a scout guiding a wagon train west to Oregon. The film opens with him checking out the naked Elsa Martinelli taking a bath in a creek. Pleasure before business and he continues on to the village where he finds out Elsa is the daughter of Chief Eduard Franz.
And that sets the tone for the film. When Douglas should be concerned about the safety of the people he's working for, he's off trying to court Elsa. His preoccupation with her almost causes disaster to the train.
Action there is though, including a nicely staged Indian attack on an army post. And the whole film was shot in Oregon on location quite nicely. I believe some of this same area was used in Kirk Douglas's later western The Way West.
Kirk Douglas's heroes are usually flawed and quite three dimensional. But this film has a hero I could not really get a rooting interest for.
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