During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
A wagon train heads for Denver with a cargo of whisky for the miners. Chaos ensues as the Temperance League, the US cavalry, the miners and the local Indians all try to take control of the valuable cargo.Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
And that was Brian Keith's reason as to why he expected to get good service from the U.S. Cavalry. Ironically enough in post Civil War America that's about all it took.
Poor Burt Lancaster in one of his few ventures into comedy, as commander of a frontier army post, he's expected to provide good order between the conflicting demands of drunken townsman, Republican businessmen, temperance women, and a tribe of Indians looking to get their hands on white man's firewater.
Lancaster overacts outrageously, sort of a Sergeant Warden now an officer and hating every minute of it. Comedy is a little strange for the intense Mr. Lancaster. He's good, but I think Robert Mitchum would have been a natural fit for the lead.
Lee Remick is leader of the temperance workers and in our time they can certainly be made an object of fun. Their efforts led to Prohibition ultimately which produced far more evils than demon rum. But it should never be forgotten that with the second class position of women in the 19th century as homemakers and little more else, keeping the male breadwinner sober and working was not a humorous thing. The roots of the temperance movement are very real.
But this is a comedy and Lee Remick as a liberated woman of her time is expanding a bit on the part she played in Wheeler Dealers. Lots of similarity between this role as Cora Massingale and her part in Wheeler Dealers as Molly Thatcher, a pioneer woman stockbroker.
The rest of the cast is fine, I would single out Brian Keith as the choleric taxpayer and good Republican and Donald Pleasance the psychic and alcoholic scout.
John Sturges made some of the best action films of the 50s and 60s and this is certainly a good one. Also Elmer Bernstein's score is a winner.
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