6.1/10
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5 user 6 critic

The McMasters (1970)

When a black Civil War veteran becomes co-owner of the southern McMasters ranch, the incensed local Confederate veterans come gunning for him and his Indian wife.

Director:

Alf Kjellin

Writer:

Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burl Ives ... McMasters
Brock Peters ... Benjie
David Carradine ... White Feather
Nancy Kwan ... Robin
Jack Palance ... Kolby
John Carradine ... Preacher
L.Q. Jones ... Russel
R.G. Armstrong ... Watson
Dane Clark ... Spencer
Frank Raiter Frank Raiter ... Grant
Alan Vint ... Hank
Marion Brash Marion Brash ... Mrs. Watson
Neil Davis Neil Davis ... Sylvester
Paul Eichenberg Paul Eichenberg ... Jud
Richard Alden ... Lester
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Storyline

When Benjie, a black man who fought in the Civil War, returns to the southern town of Ironside, his return is not exactly a welcome one. The citizens are already uptight about the color of his skin...but the fact that he fought for the Union Army and still wears his uniform is all that is needed for hatred and violence to be fanned by an ex-Confederate soldier named Colby. Benjie's one true friend turns out to be Neal McMasters, the rancher who raised Benjie and is now offering him a half-share in the McMasters land. As Benjie tries to make his new home, he helps some starving Indians and finds himself the owner of an Indian woman who eventually becomes his wife. He also uses Indians to help with the round-up. But things come to a violent turn when Kolby's hatred launches a reign of anger that brings about an unusual white-black-red triangle in the phenomenon of prejudice. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He bought white man's land and a red man's squaw! No black man has enough money to buy himself out of the trouble he's in now! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1971 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blood Crowd See more »

Filming Locations:

Wolf Hole, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In an early scene, Watson is shown butchering an animal and has blood on his white apron. A few minutes later when leaving his store the apron is completely white. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in 2 versions with differing amounts of violence and different endings. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A guilty pleasure...
28 August 2000 | by gavmasterSee all my reviews

'The McMasters' is yet another film that stands as a testament to the changing values of North American society: another case of "There's no way that could have been made today".

Brock Peters plays Benji, a former slave and Civil War veteran who is adopted by kindly-old-white-man Burl Ives ('Mcmasters'), and given title to the old man's farm. Conflict with the racist locals, led by the chilling Jack Palance as Kolby, ensues, leading to a violent conclusion.

To me the film was almost painfully riveting, and frank in its depictions of violence and racism.The violence in today's action films is highly stylized, and almost glamorous by comparison: today's post-Star-Wars escapist fare has no place for the smallest depiction or frank discussion of racism. I found myself getting involved with the characters, cheering them on and yelling advice to the screen. I also loved the western/blacksploitation angle of the film, even though the "showdown" plot is pretty standard western fare.

The film seems old-fashioned when viewed today: does that mean that society has progressed, or regressed since 1969? You be the judge.


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