During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
A delicious love story centered around a single father attempting raise his son despite the temptations of liquor and women. Lancaster shines as the stable and regal frontiersman fending off the seductions of Walter Matthau and lewd desires.
The riverboat used in the movie was the Delta Queen. The company spent almost $10,000 to add the fake smokestacks. See more »
At the beginning, Eli is sitting near a campfire. We can clearly see its flames, showing it is still burning. When Eli stands up, the flames has disappeared, even we haven't see him extinguishing the fire. See more »
I think one of the worst problems with American films from the 1930s-1950s is that way too many Westerns were made. Part of the problem that plot-wise, most are very, very derivative--with the same basic plot being rehashed yet again (if I see one more Western about rich guy who runs the town and is trying to force all the farmers/ranchers/sheep herders to sell out to him, I'm gonna puke). Because of this, I love films that talk about American history that are unusual--not Westerns or war films--just something different. This film is about life 'out west' (in the Tennessee area) circa 1820--a period WAAAY underrepresented in American films...heck, it's hardly ever even mentioned! So, from the onset, I was pretty happy about the setting of this film.
Burt Lancaster plays an outdoorsman--sort of a Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone sort of fellow. The main difference is that he also has a young son AND doesn't want to abandon him (Crockett and Boone should have taken note NOT to do this). The problem, however, is money. He and his son love the carefree outdoor life--but it takes money to get to this promised land. In the meantime, the two are forced to hang around civilization (at least what approximated it out on the frontier). Here in town, Lancaster's brother (played by John McIntyre--a guy who looked nothing like Burt and seemed too old for the part) pushed for him to go into business with him--and get rid of his buckskin clothes and settle down. In addition, two women wanted him--the school teacher (who represented domesticity) and the indentured servant (who believed in his dream). What will happen? Will Burt and son become domesticated and civilized or will they eventually make it to the wide open lands of Texas? Overall, this is not one of Burt Lancaster's best acting performances. He's good--but also pretty unremarkable. But, the film is different and reasonably well made--and it's hard to dismiss it. A nice film, at least from a history teacher's perspective, and well worth seeing.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this