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Only the Valiant (1951)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 21 April 1951 (USA)
A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Edmund H. North (screenplay), Harry Brown (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Capt. Richard Lance
Barbara Payton ... Cathy Eversham
Ward Bond ... Cpl. Timothy Gilchrist
Gig Young ... Lt. William Holloway
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Trooper Kebussyan (as Lon Chaney)
Neville Brand ... Sgt. Ben Murdock
Jeff Corey ... Joe Harmony
Warner Anderson ... Trooper Rutledge
Steve Brodie ... Trooper Onstot
Dan Riss ... Lt. Jerry Winters
Terry Kilburn ... Trooper Saxton
Herbert Heyes ... Col. Drumm
Art Baker ... Capt. Jennings
Hugh Sanders ... Capt. Eversham
Michael Ansara ... Tucsos
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Storyline

Capt. Richard Lance is unjustly held responsible, by his men and girlfriend, for an Indian massacre death of beloved Lt. Holloway. Holloway is killed while escorting a dangerous Indian chief to another fort's prison. The chief escapes. Knowing their fort is in danger of Indian attack, Lance takes a small group of army misfits to an abandoned nearby army fort to defend a mountain pass against the oncoming Indian assault. Their mission is to stall for time until reinforcements from another fort arrive. The men in this small group of malcontents, deserters, psychopaths and cowards all hate Capt. Lance and wish him dead. Much to their chagrin, the men recognize that Lance's survival instincts, military knowledge and leadership are the only chance the group has of staying alive. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY WERE SIX AND THEY FOUGHT LIKE SIX HUNDRED! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fort Invincible See more »

Filming Locations:

Gallup, New Mexico, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gary Cooper was originally intended for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

A time line was never developed. Since there was ongoing trouble between the Sgt. and one of the troopers who was formerly a rebel soldier, this had to take place during the Civil war or just after. They do mention that the Gatling gun was just developed, which would make it during the Civil war. All the troopers are carrying Winchester rifles and Colt single action army revolvers, not manufactured until the 1870's. The song, 'Little Brown Jug', is heard and it was written in 1869. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L'important c'est d'aimer (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Brown Jug
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph Winner
Played by a harmonica player in the barracks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A rather grim view of honor, duty, conscience in the western cavalry
4 February 2002 | by Mickey-2See all my reviews

This film, released in 1951, has the usual elements typical of the westerns released during the 50's; the cavalry needing to protect the territory from a murderous band of Indians, an officer determined to see that task through, and the men with him with various character flaws that he has to merge together into a cohesive unit. This small band must hold on to a fort located close to the Indian village until reinforcements arrive. The Indians know, all to well, that the small band is undermanned, and could be wiped out before the help comes. One major difference for this film, "Only the Valiant", is that it attempts to play out the usual storyline, but at the same time, deliver the message that duty is a paramount concern to be shared by all, even if they don't accept that charge.

Gregory Peck embodies the tight-lipped captain of the troop that has to prevent the Indians from breaking out into the territory. The troopers that he takes with him to the small outpost are the dregs of the troop at the fort; they, in turn, have gripes or weaknesses that cause them to wonder if the captain hasn't taken them out because of their general lack of devotion to a cause. Eventually, the captain and the small band confront the hostiles, and at the same time, each confronts his own flaw. The cast includes western stalwarts such as Ward Bond, Gig Young, Neville Brand, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Warner Anderson.

A sleeper of a film, and a good solid western for fans of this genre.


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