8 December 2011 | Spikeopath
And you call them savages?
Walk the Proud Land is directed by Jesse Hibbs and adapted to screenplay by Gil Doud and Jack Sher from the biography of John Philip Clum, Apache Agent, written by his son Woodworth Clum. It stars Audie Murphy, Anne Bancroft, Pat Crowley, Charles Drake, Tommy Rall and Robert Warwick. A Technicolor/CinemaScope production out of UIP, music is supervised by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Harold Lipstein.
1874, San Carlos, Arizona, and John Philip Clum (Murphy) arrives and attempts to broker peace with the Apache by way of letting them have autonomy away from army government.
Don't turn your back on him. No matter what it says in the Bible.
Colourful character driven Western that's based on a real Indian agent, it portrays his determination and faith to get the Apache to agree to peace whilst affording them dignity and honesty. As everyone who as seen it will attest, this is no action packed Audie Murphy Oater, but although it was met with indifference at the box office and by Western critics, film is never less than enjoyable or interesting. John Clum is a peaceable man, a humanitarian, film's strength lies in his driven will to succeed against many odds. Bigotry and stubbornness surrounds him, but his approach is infectious and as a man his efforts laid a firm foundation for a bit of history to be made. Not least that he was the man who captured Geronimo (here played by Jay Silverheels) without a shot being fired in anger. He was a man worthy of a film, and even though this is obviously condensed down and dressed up for Hollywood, it's worth watching to catch the essence of a special type of man, a man splendidly essayed by Audie Murphy. Harold Lipstein captures some beautiful Old Tucson scenery to add evocative flavours, and Hibbs' direction is unobtrusive.
A domestic problem played out in the plot is a touch too saggy, and nearly pointless, and the all too familiar problem of white actors playing lead Native Americans is all too evident. But this is a very tidy production with a very worthwhile story being told. 7/10