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In 1868, in the Dakotas, Cheyenne Chief Yellow Wolf and his son Little Wolf leave their destitute village and head toward the nearest army post in the town of Sand Creek. The two chiefs travel on foot because their tribe has very few horses. They intend to meet the local army commander to complain that, with winter approaching, their tribe needs warm clothing, horses and food. The Cheyenne have no firearms, as per treaty stipulations, and they cannot hunt for food. The local army commander is Captain George, a cowardly heavy-drinking U.S. Cavalry officer. He greets the two Cheyenne chiefs by saying that his main concern is not the Cheyenne's needs but the needs of his own people. He also insists that he was given orders to remove the Cheyenne from the Black Hills to a reservation in Oklahoma. Chief Yellow Wolf replies that the Black Hills region is their native home and refuses to accept the re-settlement to a reservation in Oklahoma. He is willing to offer Captain George a trade. The...Written by
More sensitive to the feelings of the Indian people than other films of the time, the watchable B Western "Ride Out for Revenge" has some good performances and a decent story to recommend it, even if it's heavy handed in pushing its message home and ultimately forgettable. It does take the viewer out of the movie to see obviously white people playing Indian characters, but then Hollywood still wasn't ready in 1957 to be truly politically correct.
The stolid Rory Calhoun plays Tate, a marshal from the small town of Sand Creek who's sympathetic towards the local Cheyenne tribe. Of course, helping him to form that opinion is his love for Pretty Willow (Joanne Gilbert), the daughter of the tribes' chief Yellow Wolf (Frank DeKova). When the chief is cold bloodedly murdered by a gunman, it angers the chiefs' son Little Wolf (Vince Edwards) who leads his people in a raid. Even after suffering a personal loss during the raid, Tate finds that taking care of business is still a tough proposition.
Calhoun is fine, Edwards amusing even in light of his miscasting, and Gloria Grahame makes the most of her not terribly important role. But the movie really belongs to a wonderful Lloyd Bridges, who's perfectly slimy as a racist, greedy, cowardly Cavalry officer. It's Bridges who keeps things interesting for the duration; surely a member of the Cavalry had never been portrayed in this negative a light before. Otherwise, nothing about this is anything special - not the direction (by Bernard Girard) nor the script (by producer Norman Retchin, based on a novel by Burt Arthur), although the music (by Leith Stevens) and cinematography (by Floyd Crosby) are nice.
Overall, not a bad way to spend 78 minutes.
Six out of 10.
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