During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. Instead, he manages to escape and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers have other ideas though. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Massai was born to Little Sun and White Shadow at Mescal Mountain, Arizona, near Globe. He later met Geronimo, who was recruiting Apaches to fight American soldiers. He also knew the Apache Kid. The policy in Arizona at the time was to exterminate hostile Apaches. Many Apache warriors fought for their people and traditions, fleeing and waging effective guerrilla warfare against their enemies.
Massai escaped over the border to Mexico, eventually settling in the Sierra Madre mountains in Sonora Mexico with a camp of rebellious Chiricahuas who had refused to surrender with Geronimo. Nothing is known of his final days. See more »
About 16 minutes into the movie as Massai (Burt Lancaster) is fleeing from the white mob through a hotel corridor you can see an unlit electric 'EXIT' sign visible in the hallway at the top of the shot. See more »
Opening credits: This is the story of Massai, the last Apache warrior. It has been told and re-told until it has become one of the great legends of the Southwest. It began in 1886 with Geronimo's surrender. See more »
If you can suspend disbelief that Burt Lancaster and Jean Peters are Apaches, then this isn't a bad western. If you can't, well then there's gonna be a lot of low ratings posted here.
In 1886, Geronimo and his braves surrender to the U.S. Calvary in New Mexico and are shipped off to Ft. Marion, Florida. All except one, an Apache named Massai (Burt Lancaster) who begins a one man war against the whites.
Massai escapes from the train that is shipping the Apaches back east and makes his way back to New Mexico. From there, he attacks wagons, soldiers, bridges etc., making life hard for the authorities. He kidnaps Nalinle (Jean Peters) and takes her up to the hills with him while Indian scouts John McIntire and Charles Bronson hunt them down.
Massai finds an isolated spot in the high country and starts to plant a small corn field from seed he got from a Cherokee farmer (Morris Ankrum). He also gets Peters pregnant with child.
The ending scene in Massai's little cornfield is pure Hollywood. The action scenes are tight as we see Lancaster jumping from rock to rock as he picks off at least 10 of the Indian scouts that have him surrounded. But then as Massai is wounded and runs into McIntire in the cornfield, disbelief occurs and the conclusion seems tacked on in order to make a happy ending out of it. You'll have to see it for yourself.
Still, it's entertaining enough as it is. It's based on a true incident and Lancaster at least brings some dignity to his role as the noble warrior turned farmer who wants to be left in peace. It could've turned out a lot worse.
I give it a 6 out of 10 for his performance alone.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?