During the Civil War, in 1863,Confederate prisoners of war agree to join forces with the Union Army in the common fight against Indians.In return,the Confederate POWs are promised their freedom by President Lincoln during his Special Proclamation.A company of Confederate Georgia cavalry POWs,under the command of Confederate Colonel Clay Tucker, joins the Union on the sole condition they wouldn't have to fight against the Confederacy.The company is sent to the isolated and undermanned Fort Thorn, New Mexico, on the Western frontier. The fort is commanded by Union major Henry Kenniston who is limping from an old war wound and who hates Confederates.The old animosities between Unionists and Confederates quickly resurface during their fragile alliance against the Indians.Written by
Jeff Chandler, who was in the very early stages of his career, admired Joseph Cotten so much that he would show up to watch the veteran actor work even when he was not scheduled to be there. See more »
The film is set in 1864 but the pistol a trooper uses to nail up a picture appears to be a Remington model 1875 Single Action Army Revolver using metallic cartridges which wasn't introduced until 1875. He should have carried either a Colt 1860 Cap & Ball revolver or a Remington 1858 Cap & Ball revolver. See more »
Cavalry comes to the rescue in interesting Civil War yarn...
JEFF CHANDLER does a creditable job as tough Army Major Kenniston at Fort Thorn with a hatred of Confederate rebels. His sister-in-law LINDA DARNELL wants to go back to California from the New Mexico fort, but Chandler is smitten with her and tries to prevent the strong-willed lady from having her own way.
Meantime, two other men have their eyes on Linda--Confederate Col. Clay Tucker (JOSEPH COTTEN) and dashing Capt. Mark Bradford (CORNEL WILDE), both of whom fall for Major Kenniston's sister-in-law.
Seems the Yankees are willing to free Confederate prisoners if they're willing to help them fight off the Indians surrounding the fort. While this is the major plot driven device, the romantic sub-plots involving Chandler, Darnell, Wilde and Cotten get a fair share of time too.
It all comes together as an above average cavalry western under the crisp direction of Robert Wise, who makes the most of some excellent camera work in the rugged western settings. The story has some interesting components but takes time in setting up the various conflicts. Nevertheless, enough action and a little romance to satisfy most viewers of the genre.
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