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Walk the Proud Land (1956)

An agent sent from Washington in 1874 takes charge of an Apache reservation and has the oppressive US Army back off, which creates conflicts and causes the Indians to have great respect for him.


Jesse Hibbs


Gil Doud (screenplay), Jack Sher (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Audie Murphy ... John Philip Clum
Anne Bancroft ... Tianay
Pat Crowley ... Mary Dennison
Charles Drake ... Tom Sweeny
Tommy Rall ... Taglito
Robert Warwick ... Chief Eskiminzin
Jay Silverheels ... Geronimo
Eugene Mazzola ... Tono
Anthony Caruso ... Disalin
Victor Millan Victor Millan ... Santos
Ainslie Pryor Ainslie Pryor ... Capt. Larsen
Eugene Iglesias ... Chato
Morris Ankrum ... Gen. Wade
Addison Richards ... Gov. Safford
Maurice Jara Maurice Jara ... Alchise


Indian Agent sent to try new approach to peace with Apaches based on respect for automomy rather than submission to Army. Wins over reservation chiefs and the Indian widow (Bancroft) given to him as housekeeper. Through use of diplomacy and demonstrations of faith in Apache leaders, reservation is put on the road to automomy. Conflicts arise between Apache widow and Eastern wife but latter has a lot to learn. Written by Rita Richardson <rita.richardson@arch2.nara.gov>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE TAMED APACHE WAR-LUST WITH THE POWER OF HIS FAITH...and conquered a savage warrior in a showdown of raw courage! See more »


Biography | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Apache Agent See more »

Filming Locations:

Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,500,000, 31 December 1956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the knife fight scene where Clum breaks up the war dance, his opponent slashes at Clum and hits a tree. When the two separate, the knife is obviously pulled from the tree. In the next scene the two are on the ground fighting, but the knife is stuck in the tree. See more »

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User Reviews

Decent biography about John Clum who was an Indian agent for the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in the Arizona Territory.
23 November 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In 1870s , Arizona , an Indian agent called John Clum (Audie Murphy) sent from Washington to take charge of an Apache reservation , San Carlos , and he makes up peace between the stiff Union army and the rebel Apache tribes headed by the famous chief Geronimo (Jay Silverheels who played several times this role). He implemented a limited form of self-government on the reservation that was so successful that other reservations were closed and their residents moved to San Carlos . At the beginning , in 1874 , he wins over reservation leader , Chief Eskiminzin , (Robert Warwick) , it causes the Indians to have great respect for him ; but a bit later on , things go awry . Meanwhile , Clum befriends an Indian widow (a very young and attractive Anne Bancroft) given to him as a housekeeper . Then , there appears his Eastern bride (Pat Crowley) , but latter has a lot to learn . Clum tamed Apache war-lust with the power of his faith and conquered a savage warrior in a showdown of raw courage . Conflicts arise when Geronimo's uprising takes place and he crashes against the understanding John Clum .

Acceptable picture based on actual events about an authentic Indian agent , John Philip Clum , being adapted from the biography ¨Apache Agent¨ by Woodworth Clum . This role has appeared in several other films as ¨Wyatt Earp¨ by Laurence Kasdan , ¨Tombstone¨ (played by Terry O'Quinn) , ¨Hour of the Gun¨ (performed by Larry Gates) and ¨Gunfight at the O.K. Corral¨ (interpreted by Whit Bissell) . The film has an enjoyable message dealing with a pacifier who fights for the rights of the Apache tribe and based on mutual respect for independence rather than submission to Army , as well as demonstrations of religious faith . As Clum uses of diplomacy and trustworthy in Apache leaders , and then the reservation is put on the road to autonomy . The picture is spoiled by a ridiculous ending when John convinces leader Geronimo to surrender himself to the authorities by means of a ridiculous set-up . Passable acting by Audie Murphy as an Indian Agent sent to try new approach to peace with Apaches . The motion picture was professionally directed by Jesse Hibbs . He was an American director of second features , primarily westerns , at Universal in the 1950's . Being especially known for TV series as ¨Perry Mason¨ (1957) , ¨Gunsmoke¨ , ¨Laramie¨ and ¨F.B.I.¨ (1965) as well as Westerns and Thrillers . He directed various Audie Murphy vehicles such as¨: To hell and Back¨ (1955) , ¨World in My Corner¨ (1956) , ¨Ride a Crooked Trail¨ (1958) and ¨Medal of Honor¨ .

Based on facts , these are the following ones : President U.S Grant established the San Carlos Reservation . After an investigation of political abuses within the Office of Indian Affairs , the Dutch Reformed Church was given charge of the Reservation. They sought out a candidate at Clum , he knew that a number of Indian Agents had already come and gone . Some Indian agents sought the position only as a means to line their own pocket , selling government-supplied food and clothing and keeping the profits for themselves . Later on , Clum moved to Florence , Arizona Territory and bought a weekly newspaper , the Arizona Citizen then operating in Tucson , but he moved it to Florence . For the next two years he published editorials criticizing "the Army of Arizona and the political double-crossers in Washington". Following the great silver strike in Tombstone , in 1877 , Clum moved to Tombstone and after the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26 , 1881 , the Earps suffered losses to their family . Clum later became the first mayor of Tombstone , Arizona Territory , after its incorporation in 1881 . He also founded the still-operating The Tombstone Epitaph on May 1, 1880 . Ike Clanton filed murder charges and after a month-long preliminary hearing , Justice of the Peace ruled the men had acted within the law . He helped organize a "Vigilance Committee" to end lawlessness in Tombstone , and his association with that group helped get him elected as Tombstone's first mayor under the new city charter of 1881 . While mayor he became lifelong friends with Wyatt Earp and one of his greatest supporters . His friendship with Earp and loyalty to the business leadership made him a target for the outlaw Cowboys . On December 14 , Clum was on a stagecoach en route to Benson to catch a train for Washington, D.C., where he planned to spend Christmas with his parents and son. He and his newspaper had consistently supported the lawmen . The stagecoach was fired upon by unknown assailants and although the driver Jimmie Harrington was able to outrun the attackers , he had to stop to remove a lead horse that had been shot through and was bleeding to death . Clum was certain the hold-up was cover for an attempt to kill him , so didn't reboard the stage but walked until he found a horse he could borrow . He got to Benson the next day . Clum sold The Tombstone Epitaph and left Tombstone . The newspaper is still published today as a nationally distributed chronicle of the old west. He later served in various postal service positions across the United States .

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