It's just prior to the Civil War and Fort Laramie's problem is the Sioux Indians. When it is announced that war has been declared the fort becomes divided between northerners and southerners. The fort Commander and the southerners resign and head south. But they have to go through Sioux territory and are soon attacked. A messenger gets back to the fort to relate their hopeless condition and the new northern commanded must decide what to do.Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
When the soldiers are floating the rafts downstream, there is very little apparent current. The rafts are moving faster than the current since water is splashing over the front of the raft and this can only happen when a craft is being propelled by something else. There are no oars or paddles on the rafts, so they are being towed by another boat. At times you can see ripple marks ahead of the rafts from the boat that is towing them. See more »
Maj. Seth Bradner:
Within the walls of this fort is a company of the Army of the United States. The States are no longer united. Each of you has chosen his own loyalty. Perhaps there are some of you who have yet to make that decision. Whichever way you choose, you will for the present time, continue to exist together. In anger, if necessary with hatred, but within this fort you will remain a company of soldiers. That order doesn't come from me or from Washington. That order comes from Red Cloud and his warriors.
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The premise is promising—a cavalry garrison divided evenly between Northerners and Southerners on the eve of the Civil War. That's inside the fort. On the outside is a riled-up Sioux nation looking for white-man scalps that the rebs will have to ride through if they want to get to Dixie. So who would want to be the commanding officer with killer complications of this sort. And if that's not bad enough, add a wagonload of gold due at the fort that the budding Johnnie-rebs want to take south. Poor Major Bradner, he has an oath to the army, but family roots in the South. So there's more than enough plot for any 70-minute movie. Then too, Bel Air Productions popped for scenic Kanab, Utah locations that produce a lot of commanding red rock scenery even if the terrain looks nothing like Laramie-area Wyoming.
So, with these promising ingredients, why aren't the results better than they are. In my book, the acting lacks the intensity that these conflicting cross-currents should realistically produce. Basically, the actors (even the great John Dehner) stand there and speak their lines, but without much feeling, so the drama never really gels the way it should. I guess director Selander's specialty is action and not acting. Still, there are a couple of good battle scenes— especially the unusual skirmish between soldiers on rafts and Indians on the riverbank. Anyhow, if you're not too expectant, this is a decent enough oater made at the peak of the Western craze of the 1950's.
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