Fugitive bank robber Joe Maybe steals the identity of a marshal and rides into a town whose judge asks Joe to act as town marshal but an old flame almost betrays his real identity forcing Joe to claim she's his wife.
In the Arizona Territory in 1879, Captain Jeff Stanton takes command of a cavalry unit tasked with returning the Apaches to their reservation. The Mescaleros Apaches, led by chief Victorio, have left the reservation and openly attacked farmers,gold miners and settlers who trespassed on their lands. During a skirmish, Captain Stanton captures Red Hawk, the son of the chief, and uses him to bargain for a truce.Stanton promises to chief Victorio to see that gold miners and settlers are kept off Indian lands.However, some greedy townsfolk and disfranchised gold miners plot to break the uneasy truce.They murder the Indian agent and blame the Apaches.They complain to Washington D.C. about Captain Stanton's negotiated truce.Stanton is replaced by Colonel Perry who intends to use a heavy hand in subduing the Apaches.The consequence of this strategy change proves disastrous.Written by
This is a serious-minded and sincere effort at presenting some of the difficult aspects of US-Native American relations in the old west, albeit through a Hollywood lens. It delivers above its low budget and features a remarkably lean script in a conventional style.
Massacres anywhere were extremely brutal in the 19th century and one is depicted in this film as is a Custer type of US army blunder. This movie is violent but it is depicted within the context of what actually happened in those days, and isn't gratuitous or exploitative.
Audie Murphy is very watchable with his undeniable screen presence and his strong war hero credentials. You know that he could really lead these soldiers to hell and back if necessary. In fact, he literally could. A love triangle is rather awkwardly shoe-horned into the movie featuring beautiful and soft spoken actress Linda Lawson (who is virtually forgotten nowadays). She is perfect as a compassionate activist endeavoring for progress on the frontier. Her gentle acting style works well against the believable controlled violence personality that Murphy was able to develop for all of his soldier roles.
Acting by the supporting cast is uniformly good and features the ultimate movie rabble-rouser L.Q Jones. Jones rouses a lot of rabble in this one.
This skillfully edited and filmed low budget movie is worth your viewing time.
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