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Fort Bowie (1958)

Approved | | Western | 1 February 1958 (USA)
At Fort Bowie, Captain Thompson favors peace talks but Major Wharton advocates war with the renegade Apaches led by Chief Victorio.


Howard W. Koch


Maurice Tombragel (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Ben Johnson ... Capt. Thomas Thompson
Jan Harrison ... Alison Garrett
Kent Taylor ... Col. James Garrett
Maureen Hingert ... Chanzana (as Jana Davi)
Peter Mamakos ... Sgt Kukas
Larry Chance ... Victorio
J. Ian Douglas J. Ian Douglas ... Maj. Wharton
Jerry Frank Jerry Frank ... Capt. Maywood
Barbara Parry Barbara Parry ... Mrs. Maywood


Fort Bowie commander Colonel Garrett, suspecting that his wife Alison is having an affair with good-looking Captain Thompson, sends him on a dangerous mission to try to persuade renegade Indian leader Victorio to cease his attacks against white settlers and soldiers. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When America's frontier fort became an Apache massacre-ground !




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


At the 32-minute mark, three clipboards are shown hanging on a wall. Clipboards were invented in 1908. See more »


Alison Garrett: Is-is that man dead?
Sgt Kukas: Oh yeah, dead as a doornail. Had his brains cooked over a slow fire. It's a favorite pasttime with the Indians.
See more »


Featured in Fort Courageous (1965) See more »

User Reviews

You would rather go out there to die?
24 November 2018 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Fort Bowie is directed by Howard W. Koch and written by Maurice Tombragel. It stars Ben Johnson, Jan Harrison, Kent Taylor, Maureen Hingert, Peter Mamakos and Larry Chance. Music is by Les Baxter and cinematography by Carl E. Guthrie.

In the main Fort Bowie is a Cavalry and Indians "B" Western, one that's predictable even if it's not afraid to show then ugly side of Cavalry brutality. Plot is built around Johnson's Captain Thompson, who after witnessing Major Wharton's (J. Ian Douglas) cruel slaughter of surrendering Apaches, reports to Colonel Garett (Taylor) that an attack by the Apache is imminent. Garrett promptly requests that Thompson escort his wife away from harm. Easier said than done, for Mrs. Garrett is a femme fatale causing as much consternation as the Apache!

It's great seeing Johnson in the lead, he holds court and is the fulcrum of what makes Fort Bowie better than average. His character's nickname is "Tomahawk" due to his ability with said weapon, and it's not long before we get to see it in action. In fact it's notable that the first battle staged is fought with axes, swords and arrows on both sides, and it's a well constructed battle. Alison Garrett (Harrison) is trouble and the poison she lays down is the worst kind, and it's that that gives the film an extra narrative kick. Helps that Harrison is socko gorgeous, who in turn is supplemented by other beauties Hingert and Barbara Parry.

So while some of the cast do indeed look stunning, so to does the scenery, with location filming out of Kanab excellently photographed by Guthrie. It's a shame this wasn't afforded some Technicolor frontage. The vistas make for some striking scenes, as the Indians gather and descend the hills etc. Everything is building up to the big final battle at Fort Bowie, where as the romantic shenanigans reach their peaks, so does the culmination of the Cavalry and Indians toing and froing. It's exciting, the stunt people earning their corn, to round out a thoroughly enjoyable genre piece for the so inclined for such. 7/10

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Release Date:

1 February 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De röda djävlarna See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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