During the Rif War in Morocco, the French Foreign Legion's outpost of Tarfa is threatened by Khalif Hussein's tribes but Sergeant Mike Kincaid devises a plan of survival until the arrival of French reinforcements.
Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an experienced scout, and Ke-Ni-Tay, an Apache guide. Ulzana massacres, rapes and loots across the countryside; and as DeBuin encounters the remains of his victims, he is compelled to learn from McIntosh and to confront his own naiveté and hidden prejudice.Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
Robert Aldrich privately admitted that he wasn't entirely satisfied with the way the film turned out. See more »
When the platoon sets out from the fort, Macintosh's Indian girlfriend is watching them depart, with her face half-hidden by the shawl she is holding tightly under her nose. The next shot cuts straight to a close up of her face, but her hands are not in view and more of her face is hidden by the shawl. See more »
We've gone through Dog Canyon, right?
Then you're expecting 'em to jump us, ain't ya?
You're not fooling me, McIntosh, it's supposed to happen. Then Lieutenant DeBuin, he's supposed to just ride up and save us when we're down to our last bullet, ain't that right?
Something like that.
Hmm. Something like that. You're putting a hell of a lot of trust in a man who can't tell an inside curve from a three-legged horse.
See more »
There are two versions of this film, Robert Aldrich's print (RA) and Burt Lancaster's (BL) print. There are many subtle differences between the two although the overall running times are similar and most of the changes involve alterations of shots or lines of dialog within scenes. In the UK the Lancaster version was released on VHS and the Aldrich version on DVD (same as the US version) The major differences versions are: (a) The Aldrich version has an opening scene (before the credits) showing Ulzana leaving the reservation. This is missing from the Lancaster print. (b) The BL version deletes almost all shots of Burt Lancaster's Indian woman - played by Aimee Eccles (c) The BL version has a scene showing the two troopers pursuing the wounded Indian, The off-screen Indian kills one of them with rifle fire and the survivor rides away. This is missing from the RA print therefore creating more ambiguity as to what actually happened when the survivor returns. (d) The scene in which the rape victim plunges herself in the river is longer in the RA version and she refers to herself trying to "wash it off". In the BL version, the scene is abridged to suggest only suicide. See more »
Violent and exciting Western about a relentless hot pursuit against bloody Apaches
Offbeat Western concerning about an aging scout named McIntosh (Burt Lancaster)and an idealist Cavalry Lt. (Bruce Davison)commanding a group of soldiers , booth of them join forces on their way to track down an Apache Chiricaua leader named Ulzana(Joaquin Martinez) escaped from reservation of San Carlos. The veteran along with an Apache scout (Jorge Luke) agree to help them to chase vicious Indians but learn that the rebel Apache chieftain is hunting them down.
This outlandish Western is based on mixture of modern violence and brooding dialog, is of real note. Lancaster plays perfectly a ready to retire veteran explorer trying to lead cavalry against marauding and cruel Indians. The last images when Lancaster-McIntosh stays below a cart being surrounded by brave Indians bear remarkable resemblance to frames regarding Gregory Peck from ¨Billy two hats¨ also by the same screenwriter Alan Sharp. Prestigious supporting cast as Lloyd Bochner as captain, Karl Swenson as tortured farmer and Richard Jaeckel as upright sergeant. Among some cavalry troopers appear secondaries as Jerry Gatlin, Richard Farnsworth and 'Nick Cravat' , Lancaster's usual partner. This gritty Western is ravishingly photographed in color by Joseph Biroc . Splendidly filmed on location in Nogales, Arizona and lands of : Coronado National Forest, Bureau of land of Management, State of Nevada, Department of Conservation and Resources, Division of the State Parks. It contains stirring musical score with Indian and military sounds by Frank DeVol , Aldrich's ordinary's musician. The talent for this vigorous Western that Aldrich shows is based on his powerful film-making that sustains interest and compels by careful concentration on the acting of Burt Lancaster. Robert Aldrich is a specialist on dramatic Western as ¨Veracruz¨, ¨Apache¨, ¨The last sunset¨ but also on Western with humor as ¨Four for Texas¨and ¨The Frisco kid¨. Rating : Very good, better than average and well worth seeing. This unusual Western enjoys recently elevated critical re-evaluation, though previously was considered as anti-Indian because they're brutally portrayed and being originally directed by Aldrich, a great expert in violent drama.
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