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COMANCHE TERRITORY (director: George Sherman; screenwriters: Oscar Brodney/Lewis Meltzer/story by Lewis Meltzer; cinematographer: Maury Gertsman; editor: Frank Gross; music: Frank Skinner; cast: Maureen O’Hara (Katie Howard), Macdonald Carey (James Bowie), Will Geer (Dan’l Seeger), Charles Drake (Stacey Howard), Pedro de Cordoba (Quisima), Ian MacDonald (Walsh), Rick Vallin (Pakanah), Parley Baer (Boozer, the Bartender); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: producer; MCA/Universal Home Video; 1950)
“The narrative never kicks in with any surprises or thrills.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

George Sherman (“Overland Stage Raiders”/”Red Canyon”/”Big Jake”) directs this turgid Western on auto pilot. Despite a good performance by Macdonald Carey as the legendary James Bowie, who is surprisingly made to appear sophisticated before his last stand at the Alamo, the narrative never kicks in with any surprises or thrills. The fictionalized story of Bowie, the adventurer creator of the knife named after him, is taken from a story by Lewis Meltzer and the screenplay is by Meltzer and Oscar Brodney. Though the story is dull, the Technicolor is dazzling.

Famed frontiersman Jim Bowie (Macdonald Carey) is sent into Comanche Territory by the government to draw up a treaty with their chief, Quisima (Pedro de Cordoba), allowing the government to mine silver on the Indian’s sacred turf. Bowie meets up with the shifty former politician Dan’l Seegar (Will Geer), who saves his life when he trespasses on the Indian turf, and the odd couple become a pair.

Katie Howard (Maureen O’Hara) is the beautiful saloon keeper in Crooked Tongue, clad in buckskin and exhibiting an Irish temper and a rich brogue and a devilish brother, Stacey Howard (Charles Drake), who is planning to mine silver illegally on the Indian land. Bowie ends up romancing the headstrong Katie and convincing her the Indians are not such bad sorts, and she turns against her greedy ruthless brother. It leads to a rousing finale and another victory for the so-called good guys, that has Katie and the Cavalry bringing a wagon-load of rifles to the Indians to fight off Drake’s land-grabbing silver-stealing gang of white devils.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”