The fictional date of Geronimo 1939 may be from about August 1876 to about February 1877. Watching it, the newspaper articles about Geronimo's rampages at the beginning are dated to 1875 and 1876. An article dated August __ 1876 said President Grant was sending General Steele to Arizona. After the main characters come to Arizona there is a time skip of six months which should go to about February 1877. Then the main action happens. So if the newspaper dates and the internal passing of time are correct, Geronimo 1939 should happen from about August 1876 to about February 1877. And of course the movie's events never happened in real history. See more »
With a lot of stock footage from The Plainsman for the battle sequences and a plot partially borrowed from another Paramount classic Lives Of A Bengal Lancer, Geronimo is a good action film. It's however hardly the real story of the famous Apache Indian chief. For that you would have to see the film that starred Gene Hackman and Matt Damon back in 1993. For one thing they have the capture of Geronimo a decade earlier than when it occurred. U.S. Grant wasn't president when that happened, it was a man named Grover Cleveland.
But it's a good action western nevertheless. Preston Foster is your battle tested veteran of the Indian wars and he welcomes a new roommate on the post. It's William Henry son of the commander General Ralph Morgan and newly graduated from West Point. Morgan and Henry haven't seen each other for years and Morgan is a stiff ramrod of a soldier and not the most lovable guy around. He's been on a peace mission to Geronimo, but that quickly ends.
Andy Devine plays a civilian scout in the most Andy Devine way possible. Andy is actually less of a comic buffoon than usual. And playing a rat who is selling repeating rifles to the Apaches is Gene Lockhart who does his usual sniveling and groveling when caught. Geronimo himself is played with stoic menace by Chief Thundercloud.
I'm sure Geronimo was popular with the Saturday matinée crowd it sure has enough action. The players acquit themselves well, but this just ain't how it happened.
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