7 user 4 critic

Column South (1953)

Approved | | Western | 10 July 1953 (UK)
Before the Civil War, Lt. Jed Sayre's efforts to conciliate the cavalry and the Navajo are undermined by his racist C.O. and Confederate sympathizers.


Frederick De Cordova (as Frederick de Cordova)


William Sackheim (story), William Sackheim (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
Audie Murphy ... Lt. Jed Sayre
Joan Evans ... Marcy Whitlock
Robert Sterling ... Capt. Lee Whitlock
Ray Collins ... Brig. Gen. Storey
Dennis Weaver ... Menguito
Gregg Palmer ... Chalmers (as Palmer Lee)
Russell Johnson ... Cpl. Biddle
Jack Kelly ... Trooper Vaness
Johnny Downs ... Lt. Posick
Bob Steele ... Sgt. McAfee
James Best ... Primrose
Ralph Moody ... Joe Copper Face
Rico Alaniz ... Trooper Chavez
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Boyd Stockman


As Lt. Jed Sayre struggles to prevent pre-Civil War tensions and a racist commanding officer from triggering war between the U.S. Cavalry and Navajo Indians, he finds his efforts are being undermined by the machinations of Confederate sympathizers. Written by Michelle Sturges

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Audie and the U.S. cavalry defeat the enemy. See more »




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 July 1953 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Todos eran valientes See more »

Filming Locations:

Victorville, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,100,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Some 25+ years later James Best and Denver Pyle would work together on the Dukes of Hazard. See more »


Ray Collins's character is "Gen. Stone" in dialogue, but "Gen. Storey" in the credits. See more »


Lt. Jed Sayre: My orders are to move you out.
Menguito: You speak of a place where vultures grow fat from the bodies of those who die without food in winter and without water in summer. This is our home. We will not move.
Lt. Jed Sayre: Here me well, Menquito. If you haven't given the word to your people by the time that cloud passes the sun, I'll open fire!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FORT UNION


JANUARY 1861 See more »


Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
See more »

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User Reviews

Fort Union, Territory of New Mexico. January 1861.
12 September 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Column South is directed by Frederick de Cordova and written by William Sackheim. It stars Audie Murphy, Joan Evans, Robert Sterling, Dennis Weaver and Ray Collins. Music is scored by Joseph Gershenson and photography by Charles P. Boyle.

The Breach Between The North And South Was Rapidly Widening. A Grim Spectre Of Civil War Hovered Over The Land. It Was A Time of Crisis. . .A Time For Choosing Sides.

Story essentially involves Jed Sayre (Murphy), a friend to the local Navajo Indians, relinquishing his command of Fort Union to Captain Lee Whitlock (Sterling), who after arriving with his sister Marcy (Evans), demands changes to how the Fort is run and expects Jed to end his friendship with the Navajo. When a prospector is discovered murdered it is presumed the Navajo are the guilty party, so setting in wheels in motion for Jed to try and quell the impending war with the Indians and thus having to fight his friend Menguito (Weaver) In the mixer is the impending Civil War, with deserters, traitors and political shenanigans at HQ also taking a hand in proceedings. While Jed and Marcy dance around the inevitable with their love/hate relationship.

In spite of dangling some interesting narrative threads, Column South sadly doesn't rise above being a routine Cavalry Vs Indians Western. But it's never dull and Murphy fans get the usual committed performance. What is of most interest here is the location for the shoot, shot in Apple Valley, California, it's an appealing Oater location with its surrounding hills and craggy rocks that are formed down in the valley. To my knowledge, Apple Valley was only used in one other Western film, Richard Carlson's Four Guns to the Border in 1954, which is a shame because as I say, it's both a looker and carries a harsh edge that some of the great Western movie photographers really could have done great work with.

As it is, Column South is better than average, and certainly an easy film to while away the time with. But the running time doesn't allow the interesting factors in the story to get expanded, thus leaving the film with unfulfilled potential. 6/10

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