Pillars of the Sky (1956) - IMDb
In 1868 Oregon, when the Army violates the treaty by building a road across the reservation, several tribal chiefs decide to unite their forces against the trespassing whites.


George Marshall


Sam Rolfe (screenplay), Heck Allen (novel) (as Will Henry)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Chandler ... First Sgt. Emmett Bell
Dorothy Malone ... Calla Gaxton
Ward Bond ... Dr. Joseph Holden
Keith Andes ... Capt. Tom Gaxton
Lee Marvin ... Sgt. Lloyd Carracart
Sydney Chaplin ... Timothy
Willis Bouchey ... Col. Edson Stedlow
Michael Ansara ... Kamiakin
Olive Carey ... Mrs. Anne Avery
Charles Horvath ... Sgt. Dutch Williams
Orlando Rodriguez Orlando Rodriguez ... Malachi
Glen Kramer Glen Kramer ... Lt. Winston
Floyd Simmons ... Lt. Hammond
Pat Hogan ... Jacob
Felix Noriego Felix Noriego ... Lucas


In Oregon Country, 1868, several tribes of Native Americans have been placed on a reservation north of the Snake River. Here Doctor Holden has built a church, and many of the tribes have accepted Christianity and Christian names. Sgt. Emmett Bell is in charge of maintaining order here. When the cavalry, under the command of Col. Stedlow, arrives, building a bridge across the river and intending to open a road across the reservation to areas north, some of the tribal chiefs feel their treaty has been violated. As the cavalry column advances into the reservation, Kamiakin vows to lead the tribes in battle against the encroaching white men. Written by Jeff Hole <jeffhole@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story of a people's faith and the courage of a man they called Godless! See more »


Action | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Between takes, Ward Bond argued with Lee Marvin that the US should attack the Soviet Union because of what Bond claimed to be the Communist threat. Marvin, an ex-Marine who was one of the most highly decorated US soldiers in World War II, was wounded in the fighting on Tarawa against the Japanese,. He asked Bond--who had never spent a day in the military--how he spent the war. Bond had no real reply, as Marvin pointed out that the only thing Bond knew about war was what he pretended to fight on studio backlots. See more »


When, during the big battle, the Colonel orders that cannon #1 be fired, but it fails to recoil. The force of firing a twelve-pound cannonball should rock a cannon back on its wheels, but a blank movie charge produces a negligible amount of recoil.

When Cannon #2 is fired there is too much smoke to say whether it recoils or not, but it's also certainly another blank charge. See more »


Link o' Day
Arranged by Milton Rosen
See more »

User Reviews

You Have To Grab The Audience Faster And Better Than This
9 May 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Since I love westerns, and usually have no problems watching actors like Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond and Lee Marvin, I thought for sure I would enjoy this movie.

Wrong. The lead, "1st Sgt. Emmetr Bell" (Chandler) was a unlikeable, bitter guy who gets a quick slam in about "having no use for the Bible" and appearing as a bitter guy. My major complaint, however, was that - especially in a western - you better grab the audience's attention early on, if you want to hold. Nothing happens in this movie for at least the first half hour. By then I was bored, and I couldn't have been the only one. If memory serves me, the big calvary-vs. Indians battle doesn't happen for at least an hour.

Malone also did not look the part at all. Marvin with an Irish accent? Puh-leeze! They and some of the others either had no credibility or they sounded like they just mailed in their performances.

At least they were good enough to film this on location, in the Pacific Northwest, which always looks impressive on film. This might have been an interesting had they punched it up in the first half, but you can't expect to hold audiences with something this lackluster.

17 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

14 September 1956 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Pillars of the Sky See more »

Filming Locations:

Wallowa Lake, Oregon, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed