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Duel at Diablo (1966)

Approved | | Western | 18 June 1966 (Japan)
In Apache territory, a supply Army column heads for the next fort, an ex-scout searches for the killer of his Indian wife, and a housewife abandons her husband in order to rejoin her Apache lover's tribe.

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

Marvin H. Albert (screenplay), Michael M. Grilikhes (screenplay) (as Michel M. Grilikhes) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Garner ... Jess Remsberg
Sidney Poitier ... Toller
Bibi Andersson ... Ellen Grange
Dennis Weaver ... Willard Grange
Bill Travers ... Lt. Scotty McAllister
William Redfield ... Sgt. Ferguson
John Hubbard ... Maj. Novac
Ralph Nelson ... Col. Foster (as Alf Elson)
Bill Hart ... Cpl. Harrington
John Hoyt ... Chata
Eddie Little Sky ... Alchise
John Crawford ... Clay Dean
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Storyline

Lieutenant McAllister is ordered to transport several ammunition wagons to another fort through Apache territory with only a small troop of rookie soldiers to guard them. Along for the ride is ex-scout Jess Remsberg who is trying to track down Ellen Grange, who, having recently been freed from Apache captivity, has mysteriously run off again to rejoin them. Remsberg frees Ellen again and leaves her with the embattled soldiers as he rides off to the fort, not only for help, but to find the man who killed and scalped his Indian wife. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Afraid to turn their backs on each other they fought side by side against the Indian! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 June 1966 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ralph Nelson's Duel at Diablo See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bill Travers broke his leg during the filming. See more »

Goofs

Approximately 8 minutes into the film, as Sidney Poitier is riding the bucking bronco, a still photographer dressed as a soldier can be seen perched on the canyon wall, taking photos. See more »

Quotes

Willard Grange: You mean you like living with a bunch of savages?
Ellen Grange: You don't understand.
Willard Grange: Well, no, I don't understand. Lots of white women have been grabbed off by an Indian, and many a decent one of them would have killed herself before she let them turn her into an Indian squaw.
Ellen Grange: I'm not that decent, I guess!
Willard Grange: Oh, don't shout. They'll hear ya.
Ellen Grange: You don't care what happens to me... but only what people think about you.
Willard Grange: I do business with them people.
Ellen Grange: The same people who treat your wife like dirt. I was better off...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The United Artists logo is sliced off the screen with a bloody Calvary Saber, slicing an "X" across the screen, revealing the opening scene. At the end, the same saber slices the live picture away, as (sort of) a fade out. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intense Western, Not for the Squeamish
24 June 2006 | by tom-darwinSee all my reviews

The first & more watchable of 2 intense Westerns from Ralph Nelson, "Diablo" is one of the starkest examples of the tough, realistic Westerns that became popular in the late 1950s. Professional scout Remsberg (Garner) is out for vengeance on the "civilized" men who butchered his Comanche wife. His quest is interrupted when he's tasked to accompany an Army ammo convoy led by ambitious Lt. McAllister (Travers). Along for the ride are wrangler & ex-sergeant Toller (Poitier), shopkeeper's wife Ellen (Andersson), a former captive of the Apache who's regarded with disgust by her white neighbors, and her embittered husband (Weaver). They're intercepted by a large war party of the same Apaches who once held Ellen captive. As with films of this kind from "The Last Wagon" to "Ulzana's Raid," the male lead is a white man who understands the plight of the Indians, sympathizes with them but nevertheless works for the whites. There's nary a letup in the darkness & intensity. Ellen, the tortured, exploited victim of both sides, is no love interest, while the only humor in the film comes in occasional rueful exchanges among the tough guys. But there's plenty of action in scenes as well-done as any of the period & budget. What makes "Diablo" stand out is the clever, seamless depiction of the strategy as the ambushed convoy spars with the wily, ruthless Apache. It's far more engrossing than almost any war movie, including those with budgets many times larger. Andersson doesn't have much to work with but Garner & Poitier play their tough guys with just the right balance between expression & terseness. Weaver makes the most of his limited opportunity to develop the selfish husband who feels sorrier for himself than his wife over her horrifying torment. "Diablo" delivers action & adventure that never lags, along with a strong dose of historical-social awareness, but it's not the ticket for a light evening's entertainment. Director Nelson plays the colonel commanding the relief force.


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