7 June 2008 | Doylenf
Fair western needed the John Ford touch...
JOEL McCREA has orders to deliver Mrs. Sutliffe (BARBARA STANWYCK) and her Indian son to her husband after she's been rescued from an Indian tribe where she was forced to submit to becoming an Indian squaw. His mission has all the overtones of a John Ford western like "Stagecoach" which has McCrea transporting passengers via stagecoach to their destination.
Lacking strong direction, there's a B-film flavor to the film despite the presence of McCrea and Stanwyck in the leading roles. Both were past their prime and box-office value and they deserved a stronger vehicle than this to house their talents. EARL HOLLIMAN and SUSAN KOHNER have supporting roles as a young couple finding romance.
Tension mounts as the Apache chief makes plans for an Indian attack to get his wife back. Some plot complications mount too, but all of this is given standard treatment. Stanwyck becomes her usual feisty self when she's threatened with having her boy taken away by Nanchez and McCrea is the epitome of level-headed calm as an Army sergeant in charge of some dicey situations, including racial animosity toward the woman who had been a captive of the Indians.
John Ford dealt with some of the same ingredients in his famous film, THE SEARCHERS, and oh what a difference it made to have him behind the camera.
Summing up: Some unusual material, but ultimately it's just a standard western with uninspired direction by Charles Marquis Warren.