Only the Valiant (1951)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Western


Only the Valiant (1951) Poster

A despised cavalry commander is unfairly blamed by his troop for the death of a popular officer and must redeem himself in front of his men during an Indian attack on the fort.


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12 October 2011 | ma-cortes
6
| Interesting Western about a small regiment stranded in an abandoned fort and surrounded by avenger Apaches
The more desperate his fight on the desert's scorching sands , the more adored he was in her arms ¡ . Gregory Peck as captain Lance who gave Fort Invincible his name ¡ . Richard Lance (Peck) is a honorable cavalry officer to roust renegade troopers and a tribe of Indians Apaches . Cavalry captain is saddled not only problems with Native American but irritability among his own undisciplined troops . Lance is wrongfully framed by his girlfriend (Barbara Payton) and underlings of killing lieutenant Holloway (Gig Young) massacred along with a patrol by Indians . Richard Lance eventually puts the bridle on tight and struggles to win his soldiers respect while warding off violent Indians. Richard along with a group of soldiers have to defend a left fort surrounded by Indians until arrival reinforcements who are using a Gatling machine gun . The angry Apaches (led by Michael Ansara, usual in Indian roles) are out on a rampage of killing , seeking vengeance against the white intruders, and with the aim for eliminate them.

This is an acceptable , conventional tale with action galore about a hard-bitten officer who goes to hell and back while assembling a detail of misfit cavalrymen to hold-off rampaging Indians and later on regaining the respect of his soldiers and his sweetheart . Gregory Peck and a top-notch all-secondary-star-cast as Ward Bond, Steve Brodie , Warner Anderson , Neville Brand , Jeff Corey and Lon Chaney Jr as the Arab ; all of them shine in this gripping story about a surrounded garrison . Furthermore as protagonist girl appears Barbara Payton ( who acted in important films as Dallas, Drums in the deep South , Kiss Tomorrow) , she turned to be one of the saddest stories from dark chronicle Hollywood . Attractive blonde sexpot and her life eventually disintegrated,mostly by her own doings . She was the subject of a spread in Confidential Magazine in the early 1950s when then fiancé Franchot Tone allegedly caught in bed with Guy Madison . Tone later married her , despite the indiscretion, besides she had a tempestuous relationship with Tom Neal. But happened the downfall , her once enticing countenance now blotchy and once sensational figure now bloated,Barbara sank deeper into the bottle and had several brushes with law , among them public boozy , bad checks and ultimate prostitution . The 39 years former star was found on the bathroom floor.

Director takes a fine penned screenplay creating a cavalry-Indians tale that is far from ordinary , exploring the anguish of soldiers and including jarring burst of violence , however it packs a predictable ending . It's the habitual theme about an unit stranded by enemies and their grueling efforts to break the siege, issue imitated many other times . Gritty and passable written Western from Edmund H. North and Harry Brown , based on the novel by Charles Marquis Warren ,also Western filmmaker .The picture contains nice moments though partially unsatisfying and disappointing for the reason of the deeply claustrophobic environment . Well produced by William Cagney , James Cagney's brother , this Western is predictable and conventional but entertaining. Thrilling and stirring musical score by the classic Franz Waxman . Cinematography by Lionel Lindon enhances the dark tones especially on the besieged fort .

The motion picture is professionally directed by Gordon Douglas . He's an expert on adventures genre as ¨Black arrow¨ and ¨Fortunes of Captain Blood¨ , both starred by Louis Hayward ; but he's mainly specialist filmmaking Western , his first was ¨ Girl rush (1944)¨ and in the 40s directed ¨Doolins of Oklahoma¨ and ¨The Nevadan¨ for duo Harry Joe Brown-Randolph Scott . He went on directing Alan Ladd's (as Jim Bowie) vehicles as ¨Iron Mistress¨ and ¨The fiend who walked west¨ which resulted to be a Western rendition to ¨Kiss of death¨. In the 50s he proved his specialty on Western in the films starred by Clint Walker as ¨Fort Dobbs¨ ,¨Yellowstone Kelly¨, ¨Gold of seven Saints¨ and about legendary bandits as ¨Doolins of Oklahoma¨ and ¨Great Missouri raid¨ . After that , he filmed ¨Chuka(1967)¨ that bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Only the valiant¨ , the remake ¨Stagecoach (1966)¨ , ¨Rio Conchos¨ with Richard Boone and considered the best Western and finally ¨Barquero(1970)¨with Lee Van Cleef and realized in Spaghetti style.

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