6.4/10
38
4 user 1 critic

Gentle Savage (1973)

R | | Drama | March 1973 (USA)
An Indian is accused of the rape and murder of a white girl. The girl's stepfather incites the townspeople to punish the Indian - to cover up the fact that it was actually he who committed the crime.

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Camper John Allen
... Sheriff McVaney
... Chief Deputy Moody
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Rupert Beeker - Owner of 'Beeker's Bar'
Cody Bearpaw
... Holy Man
... Vicky
... Mac Moody
... Ken Shaeffer
Gayle Hemingway ... Gebo
C.J. Hincks ... Betsy Shaeffer
... Beaumont
... Gayle (as Barbara Luna)
Owen Orr ... Ellis
Robert Reynolds ... Doctor
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Storyline

An Indian is accused of the rape and murder of a white girl. The girl's stepfather incites the townspeople to punish the Indian - to cover up the fact that it was actually he who committed the crime.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This DEFINITELY Wasn't Camper John's Day

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camper John  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$125,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Once Upon A Tribe
Composed and Sung by Betty Ann Carr
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User Reviews

 
Intriguing prejudice themed drama
2 January 2015 | by See all my reviews

A peaceful Native American is wrongly accused of rape leading to a lynch mob pursuing him and his people.

Opening with one of those breezy folk pop songs that you seem to find in many American movies from the early 70's, I was immediately on board due to an unfathomable liking for this kind of musical accompaniment. This interesting obscurity stars William Smith in the title role, even though he clearly isn't an American Indian. It's a low budget flick that has a foot in the exploitation camp without really being especially exploitative overall. The pivotal moment that launches the narrative is where the protagonist and a young woman roughly argue over money she owes him only to be interrupted by her father, who proceeds to violently beat his daughter. It's a heavy scene but handled in a fairly understated manner. And that is essentially the way that the film is handled from hereon in, i.e. with restraint, despite the subject matter. The lynch mob is led by two hugely unsympathetic characters in the angry sheriff and abusive father. Some further atrocities are committed before the end but the Indians fight back, resulting with the media descending on the town to report events bringing a lot of very negative press.

All-in-all this is a pretty solid little flick. Its focus on Native Americans as the heroes in a contemporary drama/thriller is its big selling point, as at best Native Americans have no more than periphery roles in the vast majority of movies they appear in. It's certainly a shame that the lead actor actually is not one in fairness but, this aside, this is an honourable and interesting effort.


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