TOMAHAWK TRAIL (aka: MARK OF THE APACHE)(director: Lesley Selander; screenwriters: story by Gerald Drayson Adams/David Chandler; cinematographer: William Margulies; editor: John A. Bushelman; music: Les Baxter; cast: Chuck Connors (Sgt. Wade McCoy), George Neise (Lt. Jonathan Davenport), John Smith (Pvt. Reynolds), Susan Cummings (Ellen Carter), Lisa Montell (Tula), Eddie Little (Johnny Dogwood), Robert Knapp (Pvt. Barrow), Dean Stanton (Pvt. Miller); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Howard Koch; MGM (UA); 1957)
“A routine cavalry Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A routine cavalry Western. It’s adequately directed and is shot in b/w by the prolific B western filmmaker Lesley Selander (“Saddle Pals”/”Cherokee Strip”). The slight story is by Gerald Drayson Adams. It’s flatly written by David Chandler. The Apaches are on the warpath and attack a U.S. Cavalry patrol led by the inexperienced Apache fighter West Point grad newly appointed to the post, Lt. Davenport (George Neise). Bad orders from the smug commander leave the patrol without horses and casualties. As the men trek back on foot to Fort Bowie, Davenport continues to make ignorant decisions that jeopardizes their lives. When he suffers a head wound and starts shouting out incomprehensible commands, Sergeant McCoy (Chuck Connors), the second in command, blames it on a sunstroke and takes command despite Davenport telling him he will be the subject of a court martial. After a skirmish with a band of Apaches, the troops capture the Apache chief’s daughter Tula (Lisa Montell) and Ellen Carter (Susan Cummings), the sole survivor of an Apache attack on Fort Defiance, where her father was a captain. When the men reach Fort Bowie, they find the Apaches attacked and killed everyone, made the well water unable to drink, and looted the weapons. The exhausted troops brace themselves for an Apache attack. But the climactic battle comes with a surprise ending.
REVIEWED ON 9/31/2016 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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