A New York City detective, traveling by train between New York and Baltimore, tries to foil an on-board plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln before he reaches Baltimore to give a major pre-Inauguration speech in 1861.
US Army Sgt.-Major Lance Poole, a Shoshone Indian, returns home from the Civil War a highly decorated war hero, his intention being to live a quiet life on the family farm outside Big Horn in the Wyoming Territory being a cattle rancher. His family has been able to live the dream of eking out a good life off the impoverished reserve where there is little hope of that good life, in the process, while still retaining their traditional ways, being admired by the locals who know him and his family. Things have changed during his time away, anti-Indian legislation enacted in the Territory which has brought many farmers, ranchers and others to the area to homestead, which they are able to do legally on the Pooles' land since the Pooles do not have official title. With lawyer Verne Coolan being an open bigot who would not help any Shoshone even if asked, Lance turns to the only other lawyer in the area for legal advice, he learning on their first meeting that "A. Masters" is Orrie Masters, a...Written by
After an unsuccessful May 1950 press preview, MGM shelved the film. The grim movie was superbly made, but its uncompromising, downbeat story seemed to spell box-office disaster. After the release of the more mainstream Broken Arrow (1950) the following fall, it did get some bottom-of-the-bill bookings in neighborhood grindhouses but did little business and has remained little seen. See more »
Every Shoshone boy has to go through that. It's a test. Before a boy turns into a man, the tribe wants to know if he measures up.
Well, what does he have to do?
He's given a knife, nothing else. No food, no water. He has to go up into the mountains above the snow line... and bring back the talons of an eagle. He has three days to do it in. He has to be back on the third day before the sun goes down.
Isn't it rather cruel?
It depends on your point of view. You see, Shoshoni are a small tribe. ...
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Another strong western by Anthony Mann.But like any intelligent western,this story is eternal.A man who fought for his country and who is denied the most legitimate of all his rights,just because he is an Indian:to own a little bit of the land to which he had given the most beautiful years of his life.That was the story of Mervyn Le Roy's "I'm fugitive from a chain gang" when Paul Muni was trying to sell his medals to survive.That would be the story of Liam Neeson in "Suspect" ,once a Vietnam veteran,now one of the last lonely and wretched .
Robert Taylor is extremely convincing,mainly when he is speaking of the land,of the way the Indians love it,of their communion with nature. We find the same emotion in Delmer Daves' "Broken arrow" ,released the same year.
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