In 1825, an English aristocrat is captured by Native Americans. He lives with them and begins to understand their way of life. Eventually, he is accepted as part of the tribe and aspires to become their leader.
During the early 1800s, English Lord John Morgan (Richard Harris) is hunting in the Dakotas, but he is captured by a group of Sioux warriors. Morgan's guides are killed, but he is spared by Sioux Chief Yellow Hand (Manu Tupou), who marvels at Morgan's blond hair. Brought to Yellow Hand's tribal village, Morgan has to endure physical abuse and mockery at the hands of women and children who consider him to be a wild horse. Restrained by a rope around his neck, Morgan is given as a gift to an old squaw, Buffalo Cow Head (Dame Judith Anderson), to be her slave and help her with daily chores. In the village, Morgan meets Running Deer (Corinna Tsopei), the beautiful young sister of Chief Yellow Hand. Morgan witnesses the traditional courtship process when Running Deer is asked in marriage by a tribe member who presents Yellow Hand with gifts in return for his sister's hand in marriage. Morgan starts to fall in love with her. Also in the village is half-breed, Batise (Jean Gascon), whose ...Written by
For his painful Vow to the Sun initiation ceremony scene, Richard Harris wore a prosthetic chest created by make-up artist John Chambers. See more »
Near the end in the battle scene with the Shoshone, the Shoshone leader is wearing sunglasses. See more »
Lucky for you, chief like angry. You yell, make strong. Until winter comes!
[evil laugh, walking away]
Until winter comes!
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Old German VHS version includes many alternate/more violent takes that are not on the US DVD (whereas the version on the DVD is the same as in the US), especially the ending is almost completely recut. On the other hand the US version includes a few lines which are not in the German version. See more »
Silverstein's camera captures beautifully the expansive outdoor of the Sioux way of life and their rituals
The year is 1825
The story begins with a British aristocrat named John Morgan who finds himself captured by Sioux warriors At first he's mocked and treated like an animal and then he's dragged to their camp where he is given to work for an old squaw (Judith Anderson).
Before too long the 'grand white gentleman' up with another captive Batise (Jean Gascon) whose family was all massacred five years ago by the Indians acts as translator for Morgan One day after killing two Shoshone Indians from another tribe and scalping one of them, John gains trust and respect from his captives thus paving the way to be soon a warrior, then a loving husband
The film's centerpiece is the Sun Vow that Morgan must bear to prove his courage to withstand all tests of pain in order to gain the hand of Running Dear (Corinna Tsopei) sister of Chief Yellow Hand (Manu Tupou). As the English nobleman is white, he is considered weak and he'll give up in the moment of truth
There are also other truly memorable moments in the film: how the Indian virgin prepares herself for marriagehow she takes her sweat bath to be pure; and the tragic events when an Indian mother loses and has no other son or man, how she cuts off her forefinger and when winter comes she dies from the freezing cold
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