5 January 2003 | frankfob
Interesting premise poorly handled
The premise of this film is based on fact. During the Indian Wars of the late 1800s, the U.S. government hired Seminole Indians from Florida to help fight the Kiowa Indians of the Southwest. Using one group of Indians to fight another wasn't new even back then--it was, after all, how the Army finally managed to subdue the Apaches--and it would make a good film, but this one isn't it. Director George Sherman was an old hand at making westerns, having churned out dozens of them during his days at Republic, and Jeff Chandler and Maureen O'Hara had done more than their share of them. They all had an off-day here. Whatever failings Sherman's westerns may have had, he at least knew how to keep them moving. This one just pretty much sits there and nothing really happens. There are a few action scenes spread throughout the picture, and a fairly big one--an attack on a fort--at the end, but they are for the most part pretty listless affairs, lacking the energy that Sherman usually brought to them. O'Hara for some reason looks out of place here, and I can't quite put my finger on why she does, but she does. On the other hand, Suzan Ball is smokin' as a sexy Indian girl, so maybe that's why O'Hara looks uncomfortable. In any event, this is pretty much a below-average effort from all concerned. Henry Brandon, who did such a good job later on playing the evil Scar in "The Searchers," doesn't acquit himself nearly as well here--not that he's given all that much to work with--as a Seminole warrior, and Dennis Weaver is about the most un-Seminole-looking Seminole there is, with his bony frame, prominent nose and Missouri accent. Everyone involved with this had done better work previously, and would do better work later. You'd be better off watching any of those efforts than this one.