(director: Fred Sears; screenwriters: David Lang/Martin Berkeley; cinematographer: Henry Freulich; editors: Al Clark/James Sweeney; cast: Philip Carey (Wade Harper), Regis Toomey (Colonel Markham), Maurice Jara (Wingfoot), Pat Hogan (Yellow Knife), Jay Silverheels (Spotted Bear), Lee Van Cleef (Reno), Roberta Haynes (Paris), Richard Webb (Ace Elliott), Wallace Ford (McBride), Dennis Weaver (Captain De Witt); Runtime: 68; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Wallace MacDonald; Columbia; 1953)
“A listless and over familiar B film cowboy and Indians yarn.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A listless and over familiar B film cowboy and Indians yarn, that’s shot in 3D. The routine story is written by David Lang and Martin Berkeley. It’s poorly directed by the prolific cheapie exploitation filmmaker Fred Sears(“Don’t Knock the Rock”/”Earth vs. The Flying Saucers”/”Mission Over Korea”), who keeps it dull even with the Indians on the warpath. There’s an annoying and patronizing theme about the savages learning the law from the white man, if you can believe such gall.
It’s set in 1867, the year Nebraska became a state. Veteran army scout Wade Harper (Philip Carey), while in the Indian camp to broker a permanent peace, rescues his trusted Indian scout Wingfoot (Philip Carey) from his Sioux tribe after he’s accused of killing Chief Thundercloud. After bringing Wingfoot back to Fort Carney to face the white man’s justice, the vicious army private Reno ( Lee Van Cleef), waiting for his murder trial, kills six soldiers as he breaks out of the brig and forces Wingfoot to come with him. Wade is sent by the colonel (Regis Toomey) to bring back Wingfoot alive to show the Sioux that he would be given a fair trial and wasn’t just released.
After a Sioux raiding party attacks the stage heading for Omaha, Reno robs the two survivors–dance hall girl Paris (Roberta Haynes) and dandy gambler Ace Elliott (Richard Webb), but Wade comes to the rescue. Paris was his former girlfriend, which makes things awkward. With the hostile new chief Spotted Bear (Jay Silverheels) on the warpath, Wade takes everyone for shelter to the nearby way station ranch of ex-army man MacBride (Wallace Ford). Spotted Bear pins them down at the ranch and says he will kill all the white men unless they give him Wingfoot. But Wade refuses. Faced with an Indian attack from the outside and sabotage from Ace and Reno inside, Wade tries to hold off Spotted Bear while being outnumbered. After Spotted Bear captures his prey, his son Yellow Knife (Pat Hogan) says he witnessed Thundercloud’s death and it was his father who knifed him. Yellow Knife kills his father in a knife fight, and then he makes peace for his tribe with the white man. Also Paris leaves the dastardly Ace, who is not married to her, to marry her true love Wade.
REVIEWED ON 2/1/2015 GRADE: C