APACHE UPRISING(director: R.G. Springsteen; screenwriters: from the book Way Station by Max Lamb & Harry Sanford/Max Lamb; cinematographer: W. Wallace Kelley; editor: John F. Schreyer; music: Jimmie Haskell; cast: Rory Calhoun (Jim Walker), Arthur Hunnicutt (Bill Gibson), John Russell (Vance Buckner), Corinne Calvet (Janice MacKenzie), Lon Chaney Jr. (Charlie Russell), Gene Evans (Jess Cooney), Paul Daniel (Chief Antone), Richard Arlen (Capt. Gannon), Robert H. Harris (Hoyt Taylor), DeForest Kelley (Toby Jack Saunders), George Chandler (Jace Asher), Don ‘Red’ Barry (Bartender Henry), Johnny Mack Brown (Sheriff Ben Hall), Robert Carricart (Chico Lopez); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: A.C. Lyles; Paramount; 1966)
“This one is only for fans of those old-fashioned Westerns.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
R.G. Springsteen directs this routine Western that features a fine cast (though some are well past their prime), including some familiar former stars such as Don ‘Red’ Barry and Johnny Mack Brown now playing geezer character parts. It’s based on the book Way Station by Max Lamb & Harry Sanford. There’s not much to recommend it, but it’s watchable.
It opens as cowboy drifters Jim Walker (Rory Calhoun) and Bill Gibson (Arthur Hunnicutt) tell a skeptical cavalry officer Captain Gannon (Richard Arlen) that Apaches are on the warpath. On their way to Apache Wells the party is attacked by the Apaches and a few troopers are killed. Jim meets his old chum, the ornery Butterfield stage driver Charlie Russell (Lon Chaney Jr.), and signs on as shotgun rider for the next trip. Also on the trip are the district manager Taylor (Robert H. Harris), a woman named Janice MacKenzie (Corinne Calvet) who has been run out of town by the lecherous sheriff and some old biddies for once having a bad reputation and two outlaws, the hotheaded psychopath Toby Jack (DeForest Kelley) and his keeper Jess Cooney (Gene Evans). The outlaws were hired by the man with a scar, Vance Buckner (John Russell), to holdup the stage at the relay station before it reaches the next town. Vance says he has inside info that there’s $80,000 in gold on the stage. After the stickup at the way station, the outlaws need to keep their hostages alive in order to fight a raiding party of Apaches.
No surprises here. It sounds like many other B Westerns but it’s officially not a remake. This one is only for fans of those old-fashioned Westerns (Hey, that’s me!).
REVIEWED ON 8/26/2005 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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