A trapper and his two partners work as scouts for a remote army fort where they witness an incompetent colonel's decision to throw his small unprepared garrison against Red Cloud's sizable Sioux force.
Moved by the plight of the mother of her daughter's school friend, a young judge facing an incurable disease teams up with an older colleague in order to fight against financial companies that exploit the poor.
Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the idea of leading a more settled life, decides he needs a woman to start the process, and selects Corinna Marston, the beautiful young wife of Colonel Marston, commander of the next fort down the line. Marston arrives and announces to commanding officer Captain Riordan that he has lost his fort and most of his men to an Indian attack and that he, as ranking officer, is assuming command. Riordan, a young, but sensible officer, is outraged when he learns that Marston, posted out west for having lost his 1500-man command during a Civil War battle, has ordered the entire fort's complement, totally unprepared for combat and outnumbered, to march out against experienced Indian warriors.Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Last Frontier is a Civil War era west taking place in the Wyoming Territory one of the last refuges of that hardy, but shrinking group of men known as the mountain men. The Civil War has given a temporary stay of execution to their way of life, but the end is most assuredly coming.
The point is graphically brought home to trappers Victor Mature, James Whitmore, and Pat Hogan when the Sioux under Red Cloud relieve them of their possessions and work. The Sioux don't mind the mountain men, but don't like what they see with the army building forts in the territory. Go seek refuge with the white soldiers.
When they do seek it, temporary commander Guy Madison welcomes the trio to the fort even with Pat Hogan being an Indian himself and offers them work as scouts. They accept, but when spit and polish commander Robert Preston shows up they wish they hadn't, especially Mature.
Preston is a glory hunter with a beautiful wife he's also trying to make a big show for in the person of Anne Bancroft. He makes Henry Fonda's colonel in Fort Apache seem warm and fuzzy by comparison. His is the best performance in the film.
Mature unfortunately has had too little experience with civilization in his life. He just sees Anne Bancroft and it's the testosterone taking over at that point. His character is a harbinger of what we would see later on in Clint Eastwood films though Mature is more loquacious.
The Last Frontier boasts some nice location cinematography and a well staged final battle scene. Unfortunately the 180 degree turn in Victor Mature's character proves ultimately a bit much for me to swallow.
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