4 user 2 critic

The Story of a Great Enemy (1939)

Geronimo (original title)
The army's effort to capture Apache chief Geronimo, who is leading a band of warriors on a rampage of raiding and murder, is hampered by a feud between two officers--who are father and son.


Paul Sloane (as Paul H. Sloane)


Paul Sloane (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Preston Foster ... Captain Bill Starrett
Ellen Drew ... Alice Hamilton
Andy Devine ... Sneezer
William Henry ... Lt. John Steele, Jr.
Ralph Morgan ... Gen. Steele
Gene Lockhart ... Gillespie
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Steele
Pierre Watkin ... Colonel White
Chief Thundercloud ... Geronimo
Kitty Kelly ... Daisy Devine
Monte Blue ... Interpreter
Addison Richards ... Frederick Allison
Joseph Crehan ... President Ulysses S. Grant
Joe Dominguez Joe Dominguez ... Pedro
William Haade ... McNeil


The army's effort to capture Apache chief Geronimo, who is leading a band of warriors on a rampage of raiding and murder, is hampered by a feud between two officers--who are father and son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THRILL to the stirring sight of President Grant awarding the medal of honor to the famous Sixth cavalry, conquerors of Geronimo! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 April 1940 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of a Great Enemy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Remake of The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This ain't how it happened
8 July 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed