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  • Let's face it - the only real reason to catch this pedestrian oater is to get a glimpse of a 27 year old Clinton Eastwood. The future star is still coltish in his acting craft here, and he hasn't fully developed his excellent timing and intensity as in "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" and "Dirty Harry", but the B western does show why this film was a good reason that he pursue acting. His scenes with Margia Dean are the best in showing a charisma which would one day make him box office.

    Made in 1958, Eastwood looks very youthful. He holds his own in scenes with a sturdy and sullen Scott Brady, and is somewhat confined by a script that has him cast as the young fool. But Eastwood does well with what he's got, and exhibits a star quality as a young Hollywood actor.
  • 1st watched 9/14/2007, 6 out of 10(Dir-Jodie Copelan): Watchable story of former confederates and Yankees joining forces to thwart off some Apache's trying to get some repeating rifles that a traitor had sold to them. This is a very simple story that is executed very well by all involved. The idea behind it is that the Civil war has just ended but there are still hard feelings between the sides. The Yankee(northern troops) are trying to transfer some rifles and a prisoner to a nearby fort but are intercepted by some southern-folk that they think are Apache's dressed up like them(they had been fooled by the Apache's earlier this way). The Apache's then steal the whole combined troops horses and have to travel by foot six days the rest of the way. The conflict in the movie has to do with these two groups getting along while the Apache's slowly figure out how to overcome them and get the rifles. There is eventually a showdown but by this time the hard work of reconciliation has been done and the fight with the Indians is kind of anti-climatic. Clint Eastwood, in an early role, plays a young hard-hearted southern man who eventually turns to help out the crew and does a good job, but's its the story that keeps you interested. An abrupt end is the only real downside to the movie(which appeared to be mainly because the small film company ran out of money more than anything else), but this small film delivers otherwise and is enjoyable viewing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director Jodie Copelan's "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" qualifies as an entertaining but predictable 73-minute, black & white, B-movie, military western about the cavalry versus Apaches, with one noteworthy distinction—a young, clean-shaven, pre-"Rawhide" Clint Eastwood receives third billing. The title classifies "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" as a landscape western, and it foreshadows where the climactic action will transpire. Mind you, this is a characteristic of many westerns because the terrain acts as an arena for our heroes to prove their mettle. The Richard G. Taylor & John K. Butler screenplay based on a story by Robert A. Reeds & Robert E. Woods yields several quotable lines about masculinity. The central theme here is bargains. Survival depends on bargains. Copelan at the helm of his first and only film explores the usual themes of man versus man, man versus society, man versus his environment, and the issue of apocalyptic armaments. Clearly, the Winchester repeating rifles at the heart of this drama serve as metaphors for atomic weapons. Copelan emphasizes their role early on by presenting them in the first close-ups so that we cannot overlook them. The durable and dependable Scott Brady must prevent these rifles from landing in Apache hands. The Apaches are the equivalent here for the Soviets.

    Twentieth Century Fox released this modest 1958 oater through its subsidiary company Regal Films, and theatres originally projected "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" in a widescreen process called Regalscope. Unfortunately, the Western Channel version is full frame, but you can imagine what the extent of the composition. "Showdown at Boot Hill" lenser John M. Nickolaus Jr.'s photography adds suspense to the action. He composes his shots so that the Indians appear on the periphery, frames shots through the arch on a warrior's legs so that they seem to dominate the terrain. All-in-all, "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" is a polished looking western. Copelan helmed a handful of television shows, but spent most of his/her (?) time as an editor on about 40 movies and television series. Clint Eastwood has a low opinion about his first western. He has been quoted as calling it "probably the lousiest Western ever made." Actually, "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" surpasses many lesser frontier army westerns and its armaments plot—one of the genre's integral conventions—assumes greater significance in light of the Cold War era release date and the paranoia about Armageddon.

    Sergeant Matt Blake (Scott Brady of "Johnny Guitar") of the Seventh Cavalry and the four surviving troopers of his patrol are escorting a civilian prisoner, Corbin (Baynes Barron of "Fireball 500"), back to Fort Waverly to stand trial for selling repeating rifles to the Apaches. We learn later that Corbin struck a deal to sell the Indians 36 repeating rifles. Blake describes the magnitude of the threat that these rifles pose to the cavalry. "These new guns have the firepower of another company and fire 15 rounds without a reload." Our beleaguered cavalry heroes ride into an ambush less than five minutes into the action. They discover, however, the Apaches aren't trying to dry-gulch them. Instead, a band of former Confederate soldiers led by ex-Colonel Sam Prescott (Frank Grestle of "Crossroads") are shooting at them initially until they agree to a truce and Sgt. Blake pow-wows with them. Although two years have passed since the end of the American Civil War, old wounds don't heal as quickly. Prescott's second-in-command, Keith Williams (Clint Eastwood of "Star in the Dust") hates Blake from the start and accuses him of lying. "All Yankees are liars," Keith snarls with considerable animosity. The Georgia native bears a grudge against the Yankees because his family has suffered the wrath of General Sherman in the South.

    Prescott explains that Apaches masquerading as troopers jumped them and stole their whole herd of cattle. Blake realizes that the Indians must have gotten their uniforms from his slain troopers. "A man has to take a lot of things he doesn't bargain for, Prescott," Blake observes and then adds, "Maybe that's what makes him a man." Prescott points out that they are heading for Waverly, too. No sooner do the Southerners and the cavalrymen form an uneasy alliance than two Apache horsemen appear and leave a bound woman sprawled in open ground not far from them. Our heroes rush to Teresa Santos (Margia Dean of "FBI Girl") and everybody is surprised when the Indians steal their horses and take Cobb (Desmond Slattery), one of the ex-Confederates, as a hostage. The treacherous redskins used Teresa as a decoy so that they could distract our heroes. Teresa explains that she is from the Santos Ranch. It seems that marauding Apaches burned it and killed her brother, sister, and father. The Apaches offer our heroes a bargain: Cobb in exchange for the rifles. Blake categorically refuses to negotiate. The Indians never let up on our heroes and whittle their numbers.

    Naturally, tempers flare among the heroes over the value of the guns versus the former Confederates. "Getting riled up at each other ain't the answer," a conciliatory Prescott intervenes. "Let's calm down and talk this out," Eventually, Blake, Prescott, Keith, Teresa along with the troopers and Southerners have to strike out of foot with the 36 repeating rifles slung over their shoulders for a six to seven day march to Fort Waverly. Judge Stanfield (Irving Bacon of "Fort Apache") refuses to tote any guns. Eventually, Keith comes to his senses and sheds his antipathy toward Yankees in general and Sgt. Blake in particular. The last line that Keith utters summarizes the value of "Ambush at Cimarron Pass" in the career of Clint Eastwood. Says Keith, "Sometimes you have to lose before you can win." Another memorable line occurs when Private Lasky points out to Johnny Willows about their non-commissioned officer that: "A sergeant who isn't rough on his men winds up burying most of them." Clint Eastwood shouldn't be too ashamed of this B-western. You know the budget was tight because nobody changes their clothes throughout the action.
  • A partially decimated Army unit teams up with a group of cowboys, who also had been hit by renegade injuns. The cavalry squad was trying to get a gun runner and 3 dozen rifles back to their fort, but had to fight their way through fierce indian raiders intent on getting the weapons. Average soldier vs. redskin shoot-em-up.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    AMBUSH AT CIMARRON PASS 1958

    This low end western was a Regal Production released through 20th Century Fox. The cast includes, Scott Brady, Clint Eastwood, Frank Gerstle, Margia Dean, Irving Bacon and Baynes Barron.

    A US Cavalry patrol led by Scott Brady has captured gunrunner, Baynes Barron. Barron was collared with 36 new Winchester rifles he was planning on selling to the Apache. The Apaches are not amused, and have been following the patrol, knocking them off one by one.

    The men come up on another group that is also in having their share of trouble with the natives. The men have had their herd of cattle rustled by the same Apaches. In charge here is Frank Gerstle. One of his hands is played by Clint Eastwood. The men are all veterans of the late war between the States. The Cavalry are Yankees while the cattlemen were Confederate types.

    The two groups decide to join up for added protection from the Apache. They are soon joined by Margia Dean who was a prisoner of the Apache. Miss Dean delivers a message from the Apache. If they turn over the 36 Winchesters they can all go without a fight.

    Brady will have none of this idea, he knows full well the Apache will wipe them out if they lay their hands on the rifles. The Apache chase off the group's horses that night leaving them on foot. It is at least a 6 day walk to the Cavalry fort.

    The next day, the men and Miss Dean set off for the fort. The bunch is short of water and food, but they have the rifles and plenty of ammo. The Apache keep their distance because of the firepower. They do however manage to knock off any stragglers etc. Also in the mix here is Irving Bacon. Bacon is stirring up trouble between ex Confederate Eastwood and the Yankee Sgt, Brady.

    Matters come to a head when the Apache try a night time raid to grab the guns. The raid fails with dead on both sides. The group continues on their trek to reach the fort. The heat, lack of food and a poisoned water hole take their toll on the group.

    On their last legs, Brady has an idea to even the odds. They pull a night time raid on the Apache hoping to reclaim their horses. The raid goes sideways and the horses get away. The party though are able to do some serious damage to the Apaches. The surviving men and Miss Dean now manage to stagger their way to the fort.

    I seriously wanted to like this film, but it barely rises above average at best. The 72 minute run-time seems much longer, with cast being shown constantly walking up hills, then down hills. The direction is incredibly static, showing why this was the only big screen film helmed by, Jodie Copelan. The story is just a re-hash of tales one has seen many times before. Veteran writer John K. Butler had done much better work before.

    The cast gives it their all and are not to be blamed for the poor end product.
  • Before signing as ramrod Rowdy Yates in Rawhide, Clint Eastwood did a variety of films some of them better than others which if it weren't for his presence they would be obscure and forgotten. Ambush At Cimarron Pass falls in that category.

    What Eastwood has is star presence, you can absolutely tell this man was going to have a future in the movie business just looking at him. Not that his character was anything special, someone else described him as petulant and I'm inclined to agree.

    Sergeant Scott Brady and a small band of cavalry troopers are escorting Indian gun runner Breton Baynes and a lot of those valuable repeating rifles that he was about to sell to the Apaches. They run across a band of former Confederates, one of them being Clint Eastwood. Later on to make things interesting they pick up Margia Dean stranded out on the prairie courtesy of the Indians.

    After that it's just one western cliché after another, nothing terribly original, just the same plot situations that have been done a gazillion times before. Along with the Confederates is Irving Bacon who says he's a judge, Scott Brady doubts it, pretty soon everyone else is also. He's trying to save his own skin, but there seems to be no real rhyme or reason to his character at all. When he's killed nobody mourns.

    Other than it's listed in the body of work of a cinema legend, Ambush At Cimarron Pass would be lost to history. Clint Eastwood wishes it were.
  • Remnants of an ambushed Army unit hook up with a group of cowboys to fight their way through Indians on the warpath. Sounds like it could be an exciting western, but this one is dull, dull, dull. It moves like molasses, the action scenes are uninspired, the acting is pedestrian, the writing is flat, even the photography isn't very good. Eastwood, in a very early role, plays an ex-Confederate who doesn't like the idea of fighting on the same side as Yankees. That's about the only remotely interesting situation in the whole movie, but Eastwood wasn't experienced enough an actor to pull it off, and his character comes across as petulant rather than angry or embittered. A very ordinary western. Actually, a very less-than-ordinary western. Worth a look if you're a die-hard Eastwood fan and want to see him at the very beginning of his career. Otherwise, don't bother.
  • Very low budget B-Movie. No surprise, no originality, no creativity, lots of cliche, but an honest sense of rythmn. We can almost see the paintings of the studio setting. One good reason to watch this is to see young Clint Eastwood before his cinema fame (circa 1965).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This western programmer is interesting for the early appearance of a young Clint Eastwood as a southern Soldier involved in a fight against the Apaches with Northern soldiers just after the Civil War. He's a supporting character and doesn't yet have the spark that would make him a superstar a decade later, but that's enough to tune in to see him as he's finding his bearings as a young actor. The lead is Scott Brady who finds that there are still resentments from the south to the north even though the union is in the middle of reconstruction.

    This unfortunately is not a very interesting film, rushed and cheaply made, but giving a good part to character actor Irving Bacon as a judge on the train that is stopped by the Apaches, forcing them to travel on foot. He finds an adversary among one of the other passengers, and as it turns out, the Apaches aren't the only threat to his survival. The typical violent action sequences and one-dimensional viewpoints of the natives makes this just simply ordinary, one of dozens of such similar films, perfect for a Saturday matinee at the time but not memorable as far as historical value for great western cinema.
  • It is quite sure the first Clint' Eastwood's picture which e has a true relevant role, here we can see the real star is raising, so many lines allowing to him delivery something else, who he didn't in the early ones, this B movie has qualities, even been a low budge thru a small production company as "Regal" don't disappoint at all, shot on fabulous location and half at large sets on sound studio, amended when necessary on next stop of the group, carefully elaborated in every detail, the casting leading by the Calvary's Sergeant Matt Blake ( Scott Brady ) are quite colorful, when they meet a group of cattle ranchers, a former confederates, the clash between them are unpredictable, even the civil war already over a couple of years, mainly by the angry Keith Williams ( Clint ) also has a dubious Judge among them, a crook gun runner captured by the Calvary to be judged at Fort, and the female presence of kidnapped woman who was released by the Apaches to bring an offer, the rifles by the horses, average production not for Eastwood presence only!!!

    Resume:

    First watch: 2014 / How many: 2 / Source: DVD / Rating: 6.5
  • One of the earliest of Clint Eastwood's Roles. This movie quotable lines about masculinity. The central theme here is bargains. Survival depends on bargains. Copelan at the helm of his first and only film explores the usual themes of man versus man, man versus society, man versus his environment, and the issue of apocalyptic armaments. Clearly, the Winchester repeating rifles at the heart of this drama serve as metaphors for atomic weapons. Copelan emphasizes their role early on by presenting them in the first close-ups so that we cannot overlook them. The durable and dependable Scott Brady must prevent these rifles from landing in Apache hands. Watchable only due to Eastwood's early presence.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A Regal Films Production released by 20th Century-Fox. U.S. release: March, 1958. U.K. release: 13 April 1958. Australian release: 14th August, 1958. 73 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: A Union patrol joins forces with a group of ex-Confederate soldiers to ward off an Apache attack.

    COMMENT: A typical RegalScope production: (1) It marks the directorial debut of a film editor,* which as usual turns out to be an inauspicious, unpromising and entirely disappointing debut. The direction, whilst not exactly inept, is as dull as all get-out and extracts every last grain of tedium out of the lethargically-staged proceedings. (2) The players are all afflicted with the B-grade shuffle in spades, moving at a tiresomely slow gait and speaking with plenty of pauses between words, and so spinning a 50-minute script out to 73 minutes without the producer having to go to the expense of employing an additional writer. This film has a distinct advantage over its stablemates in that the lead actress is supposed to be a Mexican and this gives her an excuse to hesitate twice as long between every word as the rest of the cast.† (3) The script has a surfeit of feeble dialogue. There is not much action and what there is happens to be pretty tame. (4) The photography is flat and almost completely featureless. Gray tones are prominent and there is very little contrast. There is no such thing as a deep, rich black in a RegalScope film. (5) Production values are noticeably skimpy. The cast is fairly small, the sets are drab, the locations unattractive, the music score strictly routine and other production credits are totally undistinguished. One odd thing is that Regal films seldom, if ever, use any stock footage. So far as I know, all RegalScope films were photographed in black-and-white.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

    *Plot and ending analyzed*

    You would think with a title like Ambush at Cimarron Pass (1958), the film would be exciting, but it is far from such. The premise and lack of detail to the portrayal of the Apache Indian's war tactics really ruined it for me.

    A horse troop of U.S. Cavalry troops meet up with some ex-Confederate soldiers in hostile Apache territory. Well, what you get is some supposed tension between them. Clint Eastwood is a bit rabid against the Yankees.

    It wouldn't have been so bad if they just had someone who knew about writing the script. Instead we are presented with the U.S. Cavalry and ex-Confederate soldiers walking, yeah, that's right, since the Apache Indians stole their horses. They are also carrying about eight rifles each, without food or water. It's absurd, as they are sitting ducks and in reality, would have been killed easily by the Apache Indians. But, Apache Indians are killed by them, and the Apache camp is discovered by the U.S. Cavalry Sergeant because he just walks out into the night and comes across them.

    By no means avoid it, but just don't expect anything better than a ridiculous Western.