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 »
I was always one of them fellas that wanted to die with my boots off, in bed, with people standing around crying over me.
See more »
After seeing quite a lot of westerns about Native Americans I can say that not one of them made such an impact on me as this one. Broken Arrow was quite good and so was Dance with Wolves, but none of them show in such a shocking way the tragedy that fell upon this people with the colonization of the west. Robert Taylor is unbelievably convincing as a Native American who fought in the war and got a Congressional Medal of Honor. He returns to his people thinking that a new era is going to start where they will be treated as equals, but soon all his plans go down the drain. Louis Calhern is a bigoted lawyer and Paula Raymond the nice lawyer that helps Taylor. When Taylor says to Raymond that in 100 years they could have a different relationship, instinctively I asked myself if that really happened. No doubt things improved a lot, they are still far from perfect but at least a film like this one could be made in 1950 and be accepted as true. Anthony Mann was at his best on westerns with a dark side and here he shows us the talent that would be responsible for so many great films that were yet to come.
22 of 29 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this