6.1/10
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10 user 7 critic

The Devil's Backbone (1971)

The Deserter (original title)
Army deserter Capt. Viktor Kaleb is offered a pardon and reinstatement in the cavalry if he agrees to lead a special forces group in a raid against an Apache stronghold into Mexico.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(based on a story by), (based on a story by) | 3 more credits »
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Two backstabbing deserters steal a Gatling Gun from their cavalry unit to attack an Apache tribe and steal their gold. They get help from a naive pacifist pastor. Meanwhile, both the cavalry and the Apache go after them - and the Gun.

Director: Robert Gordon
Stars: Guy Stockwell, Robert Fuller, BarBara Luna
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Capt. Victor Kaleb
... Maj. Wade Brown
... Reynolds
... Natchai - Indian Scout
... British Army Capt. Crawford
... Lt. Ferguson
... Tattinger - American Scout
... Jackson
... Schmidt
... Capt. Bill Robinson
... Orozco
Mimmo Palmara ... Apache Chief Mangus Durango
John Alderson ... O'Toole
Doc Greaves ... Scott
Lucio Rosato ... Jed
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Storyline

Bitter over his wife's death due to what he believes was army negligence, Capt. Viktor Kaleb deserts the cavalry and disappears into the southwestern wasteland. But when marauding Apaches set up a stronghold just out of the cavalry's reach in Mexico, Kaleb is given amnesty in exchange for leading a small band of especially trained soldiers to wipe out the Indian stronghold. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Deserter and his blood bath brigade -- they drenched the west with terror! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

25 March 1971 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Ride to Glory  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Burt Kennedy came on board, he wanted Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, Ernest Borgnine or Martin Landau or Karl Malden for the part of Gen. Miles. Malden looked for $250,000 plus $1,500 a day expenses. A much cheaper John Huston got the part. See more »

Quotes

Natachai: Before the beginning of time, a great warrior god battled the father of all eagles in the mountain higher than the sky and when he defeated the giant eagle, he sat alone on the mountain. He sat and he soon found that the sorrow of death must come not only in the father of all eagles, but to all men as well. And in his love for all things alive, and for his sorrow for all things dead, he became born again. And when this happened, the eagle came magically to life and soared high within his heart....
See more »

Connections

Featured in Western Outlaws: 50 Movie MegaPack (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Westerns Ever
2 March 2013 | by See all my reviews

I first saw this film on Television in the 80s. Seeing it even now, it still feels like an excellent film, thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable.

It has everything: a great story, solid acting, great action, good humour and just a totally badass feel.

The story revolves around an army officer who loses his wife to dacoit-apaches and then deserts the army to live in the wild. He is then recruited years later by general Miles to help them find and destroy Magnus Tanarngo an Apache warlord who is building a massive apache army to wrest control of the entire US Suoth West.

Great acting by Bekin Feihmu as Captain Kaleb. Captain Victor Kaleb is way more badass than Rambo or the Terminator.

General Miles is played by the great John Huston. Great supporting cast with Richard Crenna (who ironically played COlonel Trautman to Rambo) and Ricardo Montblan. More great performances from Chuck Connors as the dynamite wielding priest Chapman. Tattinger the scout is also great.

Good music as well. The soundtrack has a jazz feel with more primitive sounding percussion. Very unique.

Superb characterization and narrative. Never a dull moment in this film. If you like Westerns or Actin films, this is a must watch.


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