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Smoke Signal (1955)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Western | March 1955 (USA)
A suspected cavalry deserter proves to be resourceful in helping the surviving members of a fort, flee Indians along a dangerous river.


Jerry Hopper


George F. Slavin (story and screenplay), George W. George (story and screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Brett Halliday
Piper Laurie ... Laura Evans
Rex Reason ... Lt. Wayne Ford
William Talman ... Capt. Harper
Milburn Stone ... Sgt. Miles
Douglas Spencer ... Garode
Gordon Jones ... Cpl. Rogers
William Schallert ... Pvt. Livingston
Robert J. Wilke ... 1st Sgt. Daly (as Robert Wilke)
William Phipps ... Pvt. Porter (as Bill Phipps)
Pat Hogan ... Delche
Peter Coe ... Ute Prisoner
Learn more

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Capt. Harper's cavalry patrol returns to the fort to find it besieged by Ute Indians. The apparent cause is the recapture of Army traitor Brett Halliday, who deserted to the Utes in a previous war; but Brett has a different story. With capture imminent, the only chance for the surviving men (and one woman) is to boat down a wild, uncharted river, where Harper and Halliday must pull together, like it or not. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Spectacularly photographed midst never-before dangers of the Colorado River Rapids! (original poster) See more »


Action | Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Dana Andrews was a replacement for Charlton Heston who was deemed by Universal to be too expensive. See more »


When the soldier lost the water barrel over the side of the cliff, he was yanking on the wooden spigot several times as though it were a stuck cork that you have to yank out of the barrel. But it was not a cork, it was a wooden spigot that you turn to open. This was simply to add tension to that part of the movie, which had no action. See more »

User Reviews

Adventure Western around the survivors of an Indian raid that escape and chased across the Grand Canyon
2 May 2020 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an interesting and thrilling one for any Western lover. The heavies are an especial Indian tribe , the Utes , we do not often come across the movies . While the Apaches , for a change , are characterised as peacemakers. Here a group of soldiers ,Willam Tannen , Rex Reason , Milburn Stone , Willam Schallert , Robert J Wilke , and one detained : Dana Andrews who is a suspected Cavalry deserter and a woman : Piper Laurie , are surrounded by hundreds of revengeful Ute Indians , then they escape by Colorado River , being usually harassed by them .

The movie has a formidable combination of of nice performances , espectacular pursuits by river , drama , and gorgeous outdoors. The hothouse plot drives relentlessly forward with noisy action , thrills , shootouts and turns . Convencional casting giving adequate interpretation . The moving tale is enjoyable one and the yarn is marvelouslly set against a background of Grand Canyon . Locations were filmed on the Grand Canyon stretch of the Colorado River , as the picture is attractive and charming to look when it flags dramatically. This picture bears remarkable resemblance to The Last Wagon by Delmer Daves with Richard Widmark in similar role Dana Andrews . The latter gives fine acting as a despised Indian Lover proving the deliverance of a mixed group of whites , these form the motley band of prestigious secondaries such as Rex Reason , William Tannen , William Schallert , Milburn Stone , Douglas Spencer , Pat Hogan and Robert J Wilke .

The motion picture was well directed by Jerry Hooper. He was a good artisan who first worked for Paramount , then he passed to Universal and immediately proved himself on more intimate subjects, especially those dealing with sentimental or comedian elements .Jerry directed all kinds of genres , such Western : Madron , Pony Express , The Bull of the West . And Thriller as Naked Alibi , The Atomic City , The Square Jungle . And particularly adventures as Alaska Seas , The Sharkfighters, Secret of the Incas and The Missouri traveler , it was the best of Hooper last movies before he became entrenched un Television. As he filmed a great quantity of episodes of notorious series as Voyage to the Bottom of the sea , The Fugitive , Perry Mason , Shenandoah , Adams Family , Caravans and Gunsmoke. Rating 6.5/10 . Decent and acceptable Western .

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Release Date:

March 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smoke Signal See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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