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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
You Have To Grab The Audience Faster And Better Than This
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.
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