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FORT BOWIE (director: Howard W. Koch; screenwriter: Maurice Tombragel; cinematographer: Carl Guthrie; editor: John A. Bushelman; music: Les Baxter; cast: Ben Johnson (Capt. “Tomahawk” Thompson), Kent Taylor (Col. Jim Garrett), J. Ian Douglas (Major Wharton), Jan Harrison (Allison Garrett), Jena Davi (Chenzana), Larry Chance (Victorio), Peter Mamakos (Sgt. Kukus), Jerry Frank (Lt. Maywood); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Aubrey Schenck; UA; 1958)
Predictable B western about a fight between the Cavalry and the Indians.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Predictable B western about a fight between the Cavalry and the Indians. It’s filmed in black-and-white. Howard W. Koch (“Andy Hardy Comes Home”/”Jungle Heat”) directs without passion. It’s written by Maurice Tombragel, whose subplot involves a soap opera romance on the frontier during an Indian attack. The arrogant Indian hating Major Wharton (J. Ian Douglas), a political appointee, on his first patrol out of Fort Bowie, slaughters a band of Apaches who want to surrender, to the dismay of Capt. “Tomahawk” Thompson (Ben Johnson). His unwarranted action starts a war with the Apaches, who are led by Victorio (Larry Chance). Fort Bowie’s commander, Colonel Jim Garrett (Kent Taylor), fearing for the safety of his wife Allison (Jan Harrison), in Tucson, orders Thompson to take a detail there and bring her back to the fort. Upon her return the Colonel is falsely told by his unhappy wife that she made love to the Captain on the escort mission, and in a fit of jealousy hubby sends his subordinate on a suicide mission to confer with the revenge-minded Apache leader to ask him to unconditionally surrender. However, it ends well, as the Apaches hold the fort that’s attacked by the Cavalry, under Thompson. The Cavalry then take back their own fort just in the nick of time and Allison reconciles with hubby.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”