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The Savage (1952)

Passed | | Action, Romance, Western | September 1952 (USA)
A white boy raised by the Sioux must choose sides when the Sioux threaten to go to war against the Whites.


George Marshall


L.L. Foreman (novel), Sydney Boehm (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Charlton Heston ... James 'Jim' Aherne Jr. / War Bonnet
Susan Morrow ... Tally Hathersall
Peter Hansen ... Lt. Weston Hathersall (as Peter Hanson)
Joan Taylor ... Luta
Richard Rober ... Capt. Arnold Vaugant
Don Porter ... Running Dog (as Donald Porter)
Ted de Corsia ... Iron Breast
Ian MacDonald ... Chief Yellow Eagle
Milburn Stone ... Cpl. Martin
Angela Clarke ... Pehangi
Orley Lindgren ... 'Whooper' Aherne, Jim as a boy
Michael Tolan ... Long Mane
Howard Negley ... Col. Robert Ellis (as Howard J. Negley)
Frank Richards ... Sgt. Norris


The only white survivor of a Crow Indian raid on a wagon train is a young boy. He is rescued by the Sioux, and the Sioux chief raises him as an Indian in very way. Years later, the white men and the Sioux threaten to go to war and the Indian-raised white man is torn between his racial loyalties and his adopted tribe. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CHARLTON HESTON...fresh from his triumph in "The Greatest Show on Earth" See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der weiße Sohn der Sioux See more »

Filming Locations:

South Dakota, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

4 March 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Savage is directed by George Marshall and adapted to screenplay by Sydney Boehm from the novel The Renegade written by L.L. Foreman. It stars Charlton Heston, Susan Morrow, Ian MacDonald, Peter Hansen, Joan Taylor, Richard Rober, Ted de Corsia, Frank Richards and Don Porter. Music is by Paul Sawtell and cinematography by John F. Seitz.

It's an honourable failure, a film of good pro Indian intentions, but ultimately the narrative thrust is dampened by a script not prepared to challenge its themes. Plot finds young Jim Aherne (Orly Lindgren) as the only survivor of a wagon train attack by the Crow Indians who are not prepared to adhere to the newly called for truce between the whites and the reds. Fortunately for Jim, the Sioux come along and see off the Crow and the Sioux chief raises him as his own son in the Indian traditions. Growing up to be Warbonnet (Heston), he's a happy man, but trouble is brewing between the whites and the reds and Warbonnet gets torn between loyalties.

What transpires is a familiar thread that sees Warbonnet, a white man by birth but Indian of upbringing, see at first hand racism and foolhardy politics from both sides of the fence. There's a good quota of action spread throughout the pic, with the location photography around the Black Hills of Dakota making for a pleasing backdrop, and there's some well structured passages that let Heston strut his stuff. Yet it never adds up to being more than a gentle sermon, with characters that basically can't veer from the standard old fashioned formula of such pictorial genre pieces.

Worth a viewing for Heston and Western purists, but not worth hunting high and low for. 6/10

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