When the government agency fails to deliver even the meager supplies due by treaty to the proud Cheyenne tribe in their barren desert reserve, the starving Indians have taken more abuse than it's worth and break it too by embarking on a 1,500 miles journey back to their ancestral hunting grounds. US Cavalry Capt. Thomas Archer is charged with their retrieval, but during the hunt grows to respect their noble courage, and decides to help them.Written by
The film features Ken Curtis as a resident of Dodge City. From 1962-75 Curtis played Deputy Festus Hagen in Gunsmoke (1955), which was set in Dodge City. See more »
About a third of the way through the movie, when the "white" guys charge the Indians, their charge takes them across virgin sand. Except for the track of what is clearly a modern car (tread marks clearly visible) across their path. See more »
Forgive me, mademoiselle.
What the hell kind of talk is that?
Now, as I understand it, a mademoiselle is a madam who ain't quite made it yet - only younger and friskier. I'd call it a compliment.
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In the 1870s American West, the Cheyenne Indians of Wyoming are sent to an Oklahoma reservation. When the lands proves barren, and most of the tribe dies, the 286 remaining Cheyenne leave for their once happy hunting grounds. Calvary Captain Richard Widmark (as Thomas Archer) leads a regime sent to stop the Cheyenne. Accompanying the tribe is tightly-outfitted Quaker schoolteacher Carroll Baker (as Deborah Wright), who also happens to be Mr. Widmark's love interest. Naturally, Widmark wants to avoid casualties, but hot-blooded Sal Mineo (as Red Shirt) isn't going quietly...
This was John Ford's last western, and his penultimate film. Reported to be in declining health, Mr. Ford's directorial skills are, happily, still sufficiently in evidence. Widmark (in a role that sounds like it was written for John Wayne) and a few of the cast do well. And, the cinematography, by William Clothier, was understandably nominated for an "Academy Award". BUT, "Cheyenne Autumn" moves at a laborious pace, and is ultimately done in by a bizarre interlude involving Jimmy Stewart (as Wyatt Earp) with Arthur Kennedy (as Doc Holliday); the film needed something, but this wasn't it.
***** Cheyenne Autumn (10/3/64) John Ford ~ Richard Widmark, Carroll Baker, James Stewart, Sal Mineo
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