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Run of the Arrow (1957)

Approved | | Western | 5 September 1957 (USA)
When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.


Samuel Fuller


Samuel Fuller


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... O'Meara
Sara Montiel ... Yellow Moccasin (as Sarita Montiel)
Brian Keith ... Capt. Clark
Ralph Meeker ... Lt. Driscoll
Jay C. Flippen ... Walking Coyote
Charles Bronson ... Blue Buffalo
Olive Carey ... Mrs. O'Meara
H.M. Wynant ... Crazy Wolf (as H. M. Wynant)
Neyle Morrow ... Lt. Stockwell
Frank DeKova ... Red Cloud (as Frank De Kova)
Tim McCoy ... Gen. Allen (as Colonel Tim McCoy)
Stuart Randall ... Col. Taylor
Frank Warner Frank Warner ... Banjo Playing Singer
Billy Miller Billy Miller ... Silent Tongue
Chuck Hayward ... Corporal


A Rebel vet, O'Meara has refused to surrender when Lee does at Appomattox. O'Meara travels west and after escaping from, he joins the Sioux and takes a wife. After denouncing himself as an American, he must make a choice when the Army and Sioux go to battle. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The strange saga of the Johnny Reb who turned Sioux to wage a one-man war against the Yankees !




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Bullet See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Globe Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was originally distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, but afterwards Universal-International bought it from RKO and distributed it as a Universal-International picture. See more »


The bulk of the film is in a very arid desert area, not the landscape in Sioux territory. See more »


Banjo Playing Singer: But the best news... the best news was when your ma said that you come home... in one piece.
Pvt. O'Meara, 6th Virginia Volunteers Sharpshooter: The best news I got was when Lincoln was dead. What's the matter mama?
Mrs. O'Meara: A man shows respect even if it's for a dead damn Yankee president!
Pvt. O'Meara, 6th Virginia Volunteers Sharpshooter: Have you lost your reason? That baboon was shot too late.
Mrs. O'Meara: The bullet which killed him converted Trust into the north.
Pvt. O'Meara, 6th Virginia Volunteers Sharpshooter: You talk like you sick in the head.
Mrs. O'Meara: well he said he was going to take us back in the Union didn't he?
Pvt. O'Meara, 6th Virginia Volunteers Sharpshooter: Who cares about the Union?
Mrs. O'Meara: Lots of us do son. I ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie closes with the following statement: "The end of this story can only be written by you." See more »


Remade as The Naked Prey (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

The film that danced with wolves first
4 September 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Run of the Arrow is the 50's equivalent of 'Dances with Wolves', so if you wanted to watch Dances with Wolves in the 50's, you had to watch this. That's not such a bad thing, however, as although this film isn't brilliant; it's better than Dances with Wolves. The story follows the adventures of Pvt. O'Meara (portrayed impressively by Rod Steiger), a soldier on the losing side of the American Civil war. He is dismayed by his side joining with the other side at the end of war, and he wants no part of the unified American nation. So, he travels south to the land of savages, because "at least they have pride". On the way to the south, he meets up with a renegade Sioux Indian scout and he finds an admiration for the Sioux culture. He later becomes the first man to beat the 'run of the arrow', and finds himself taking a squire and being accepted into their tribe.

The visuals are gritty and fairly brutal. There is also lots on offer in the way of entertainment: the scene in which our hero beats the run of the arrow is well filmed and exciting, which is just the way it should be. Aside from this, the movie also features a quicksand scene, a near skinning alive sequence and a great Americans vs. Indians battle scene. It also stays entertaining all the through, and that is much to the movie's credit; it's something that Dances with Wolves couldn't manage anyway. The film also features two great actors, which very much impress. The aforementioned Rod Steiger is the first, who takes the lead role. Although he doesn't ever set the screen on fire, he is always believable in his role, and that is enough. Aside from Steiger, the film also features the talents of the very talented Charles Bronson as a Sioux Indian.

The story is nothing new for those who have seen films like Dances with Wolves, or Witness; but remember, this film predates both of those by nearly thirty years, so it's not unoriginality on the part of this. In fact, my only major criticism of the film is that it's under-ambitious. It never really gets under the skin of it's story, and that is a loss to the film as if it had have done; it would have been a more well rounded film. Smaller criticisms are that it's very short, and related to that; the ending feels very rushed and doesn't really satisfy the viewer. Still, The Run of the Arrow is a classic film and one that should not be missed by anyone lucky enough to see it.

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