6.7/10
2,004
39 user 9 critic

The Stalking Moon (1968)

A sympathetic retired army scout takes-in a white woman and her half-Apache son, not knowing that the boy's father, a murderous renegade Apache, is after them.

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writers:

Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Wendell Mayes (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gregory Peck ... Sam Varner
Eva Marie Saint ... Sarah Carver
Robert Forster ... Nick Tana
Noland Clay Noland Clay ... Boy
Russell Thorson ... Ned
Frank Silvera ... Major
Lonny Chapman ... Purdue
Lou Frizzell Lou Frizzell ... Stationmaster (as Lou Frizell)
Henry Beckman ... Sgt. Rudabaugh
Charles Tyner ... Dace
Richard Bull ... Doctor
Sandy Brown Wyeth Sandy Brown Wyeth ... Rachel (as Sandy Wyeth)
Joaquín Martínez ... Julio (as Joaquin Martinez)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Stage Driver Shelby (as Red Morgan)
Nathaniel Narcisco Nathaniel Narcisco ... Salvaje
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Storyline

When an army scout retires to a farm in New Mexico he takes pity on a white woman and her "half-breed" son recently rescued from Indians, and invites them to join him. He does this even knowing the child's father is a feared and murderous Apache and that sooner or later a showdown is almost inevitable. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Western With a Difference - An Exercise in Sheer Suspense and Terror! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1968 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

L'homme sauvage See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Stevens (I) was originally slated to direct but bowed out because of script problems. His replacement, Robert Mulligan (I), had directed Gregory Peck to an Oscar in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). See more »

Goofs

A young boy spends almost the entire film walking across the mountains for days, then, when he puts his feet up in one shot the bottoms of his moccasins are neither soiled or worn but look brand new. See more »

Quotes

Major: One more year! That's all I ask.
Sam Varner: That's all you asked last year.
Major: That's all I'll ask next year!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly understated and good!
16 March 2009 | by ksneathSee all my reviews

I chose to see this film because of the always excellent work of Gregory Peck -- however, this being a relatively unknown film, I wasn't expecting so very much in the way of ingenuity, storyline or overall entertainment.

I'm very happy to say that I was very surprised. This is a very very good western. I've seen a lot of westerns and know pretty much what to expect out of your average fare. This is well above average. A couple facets in particular help it excel.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the understated mood of the characters and the film as a whole. The plot and the characters don't slap you in the face with standard western conventions saying "HERE I AM!" The characters and storyline unveil themselves slowly, deliberately, and I think, beautifully.

Some of the other negative comments site lack of character development and slow-moving story as major drawbacks. While each viewer may see the same thing from a number of different perspectives, I believe that these reviewers failed to recognize the subtleties which make this film stand out above others. True, there is not a lot of dialog. But consider how chatty most of the personalities out in the vast western frontier were likely to be. If you were a lover of social engagements and polite small-talk, this was not exactly your home sweet home. The main characters are an army scout and his half-breed friend who he trained; a captured, abused woman living among Indian tribes for the better part of a decade, and a little Indian boy put in circumstances where he is a fish out of water. The dialog of this film is seen the most by the characters' actions and expressions. Not many films dare to do this, and even then, not many succeed at it. It is a credit to this film that they pulled it off beautifully. In essence, the way the characters in this movie were handled came as a surprise and added a genuine sense of realism to the picture.

Also, the cinematography and choice of shooting locations are to be commended. The laconic characters blend seamlessly with the vast landscapes of barren Arizona and the rugged, striking New Mexico ranch. This also added to the realism of the film.

While this film does protrude ahead of many others, it is not perfect. I did find the utter, vast destruction supposedly wreaked by the one-man Apache army more than a little unlikely. Also, some of the cat and mouse between the "Stalking" warrior and our protagonists seemed stretched and a bit beneath the supposed cleverness of the characters. However, these things do not condemn the film, nor do they cancel out it's effectiveness. It's a great western, which lived up to much, if not quite all, of its potential.

It's a shame this film is not more well known. It is wonderful, however, to have an excellent print available on DVD (albeit an absolute bare bones disc). Give it a try -- you might just be surprised too!


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