SEMINOLE UPRISING (BUGLE’S WAKE)
(director: Earl Bellamy; screenwriters: from a Curt Brandon novel “Bugle’s Wake”/Robert F. Kent; cinematographer: Henry Freulich; editor: Jerome Thoms; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: George Montgomery (Lt. Cam Elliott), Karin Booth (Susan Hannah), William Fawcett (Cubby Crouch), Steve Ritch (Black Cat), Russ Conklin (High Cloud), Ed Hinton (Capt. Phillip Dudley), Jim Molone (Tony Zanoba), John Pickard (Sgt. Chris Zanoba), Howard Wright (Col. Hannah), Richard Cutting (Col. Robert E. Lee ), Jonni Paris (Malawa), Rory Mallinson (Wilson); Runtime: 74; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sam Katzman; Columbia Pictures; 1955)
“Routine but entertaining western, even if it’s not historically accurate.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Earl Bellamy (“Speedtrap”/”Stranded”), known mostly for his TV work, adequately directs this routine but entertaining western, even if it’s not historically accurate. Writer Robert F. Kent bases it on Curt Brandon novel “Bugle’s Wake”. The half-breed Seminole chief, Black Cat (Steve Ritch), in 1855, has left the Florida reservation for Texas.
The half-breed army officer Lt. Cam Elliott (George Montgomery), the brother of Black Cat, is ordered to report to Fort Clark and with help from a detachment bring the renegade back to the reservation. Fort Clark’s commander, Colonel Hannah (Howard Wright), is asked to cooperate. Cam is accompanied to the fort by his scout Cubby (William Fawcett). the film’s narrator. At the fort we learn that the colonel’s attractive daughter Susan (Karin Booth) once loved him but the two have broken up over a misunderstanding. Susan is now engaged to Captain Dudley (Ed Hinton), a man who has many debts to clear up before she will marry him. Cam has located Black Cat’s hideout at Devil’s Pass and plans to lure him away to fight in the desert, while Dudley’s attachment will rescue a rancher’s wife and child held hostage by the Seminoles at the home base. The plan is for Dudley to capture Black Cat’s wife (Jonni Paris) and child and bring them back to the fort to execute an exchange. But the revenge-minded rancher Wilson (Rory Mallinson) has followed Dudley and talks him into letting him finish off the chief’s wife in exchange for releasing him from his debt. When the Indians attack the fort, they take Susan prisoner and plan to sell her to venal white men for guns. In the climax Cam, coming to the rescue of Susan, outwits Black Cat in a mountain attack in the desert but is double-crossed by Dudley not showing up with the water requested.
But in these simplistic westerns things have a way of working out as surely as they do here.
REVIEWED ON 6/4/2017 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/