IMDb > The Deserter (1971)
The Deserter
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The Deserter (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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6.1/10   288 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stuart J. Byrne (based on a story by) and
William H. James (based on a story by) ...
View company contact information for The Deserter on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 March 1971 (West Germany) See more »
The Deserter and his blood bath brigade -- they drenched the west with terror! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Great Dirty Dozen style western See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bekim Fehmiu ... Capt. Victor Kaleb

Richard Crenna ... Maj. Wade Brown

Chuck Connors ... Reynolds

Ricardo Montalban ... Natchai - Indian Scout

Ian Bannen ... British Army Capt. Crawford

Brandon De Wilde ... Lt. Ferguson

Slim Pickens ... Tattinger - American Scout

Woody Strode ... Jackson

Albert Salmi ... Schmidt

Patrick Wayne ... Capt. Bill Robinson

Fausto Tozzi ... Orozco
Mimmo Palmara ... Apache Chief Mangus Durango
John Alderson ... O'Toole
Doc Greaves ... Scott
Lucio Rosato ... Jed
Roberto Simmi ... Justin
Larry Stewart ... Robinson
Gianni Vannicola ... Jeff
Giancarlo Zampetti ... Apache Prisoner
Manfredo Giusto ... Apache Boy

John Huston ... Gen. Miles
Remo De Angelis ... Mark
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
José Terrón ... Apache (uncredited)

Directed by
Burt Kennedy 
Niksa Fulgosi (uncredited)
Writing credits
Stuart J. Byrne (based on a story by) and
William H. James (based on a story by) and
Massimo D'Avak (based on a story by)

Clair Huffaker  adaptation and
Clair Huffaker  screenplay

Produced by
Norman Baer .... producer
Dino De Laurentiis .... producer
Guy Luongo .... associate producer
Ralph B. Serpe .... producer
Original Music by
Piero Piccioni 
Cinematography by
Aldo Tonti (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Frank Santillo 
Production Design by
Mario Chiari 
Art Direction by
Aleksandar Milovic 
Costume Design by
Elio Micheli 
Makeup Department
Giuliano Laurenti .... makeup artist
Elda Magnanti .... hair stylist
Paquita Trench .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Roberto Cocco .... production manager
Vicente Sempere .... unit manager (as Vincente Sempere)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
José López Rodero .... assistant director
Art Department
Enzo Eusepi .... set dresser (as Vincenzo Eusepi)
Sound Department
Gerry Hambling .... sound editor (as Jerry Hambling)
Rocco Roy Mangano .... sound
Jim Willis .... sound engineer
Special Effects by
Augie Lohman .... special effects (as August Lohman)
Visual Effects by
Cliff Culley .... optical effects
Remo De Angelis .... stunt supervisor
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Alfonso Avincola .... still photographer
Luciano Tonti .... camera operator
Editorial Department
Giorgio Fabianelli .... assistant editor
Other crew
Barbara Cole .... script supervisor
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Deserter" - Australia (imdb display title), Canada (English title) (imdb display title), New Zealand (English title) (imdb display title), South Africa (English title) (imdb display title), USA (video title)
"Dezertorul" - Australia (imdb display title)
"Djavolja Kicma" - Yugoslavia (Croatian title) (imdb display title)
"La spina dorsale del diavolo" - Italy
"Prelaz preko djavoljeg klanca" - Yugoslavia (Serbian title) (literal title)
"Ride to Glory" - USA (cut version)
"The Devil's Backbone" - USA (imdb display title)
"A Crista do Diabo" - Brazil (imdb display title)
"Apassien kauhu" - Finland (video title)
"Den blodige brigade" - Denmark (imdb display title)
"Desertören" - Sweden
"Dezerter" - Poland
"Dezertorul" - Romania (imdb display title)
"Die Höllenhunde" - West Germany (imdb display title)
"El espinazo del diablo" - Uruguay (original subtitled version)
"Intikam Mangasi" - Turkey (Turkish title) (imdb display title)
"La quebrada del diablo" - Spain
"Les dynamiteros" - France (imdb display title)
"O Caminho da Aventura" - Portugal
"O Desertor" - Brazil (video title)
"Oi aetoi pethainoun dyo fores" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Verilöyly" - Finland
See more »
100 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:M | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Brazil:14 (video rating) | Finland:K-18 | Iceland:12 | Norway:16 (1971) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA | UK:15 (video) | USA:PG | USA:GP (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Captain Viktor Kaleb:O'Toole made two mistakes. He didn't test his skills...
Cpt. Crawford:And he yelled when he was falling.
Captain Viktor Kaleb:An Apache wouldn't.
Cpt. Crawford:Damn it! If a man is dying, he has a right to be a little bit disturbed by it!
Captain Viktor Kaleb:Not if he cares anything about the men he was with.
See more »
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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Great Dirty Dozen style western, 5 January 2004
Author: Allan Stenhouse from Glasgow

Really loved this film when I saw it on BBC1 way back in 1981, when I was the grand old age of 11. One of those films I always wanted to see on TV again, but it has NEVER been repeated on UK TV. However, I managed to pick it up on second hand video from e-bay, and wondered how it would stand up today, over 20 years after I saw it. The verdict? Still great. True, it is dated in parts (Music, editing) but these are really minor complaints on the whole. The lead character is great; really ruthless and a true anti-hero. Some great supporting cast also; with some really unexpected moments. And it takes it's time getting to where it's going, which I feel a lot of todays films lack. In 'The Deserter', the characters are given time to breath, and it is not until well after the first hour that they inevitably start to die. This all leads up to an explosive last twenty mins, with some memorable scenes. If you love 'guys on a mission' movies, or westerns, see this little gem. Allan.

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