Hondo and the Apaches
- TV Movie
- 1h 25m
A bit too conventional, a bit too late
This feature, made up of material from the short-lived TV series, HONDO, may be just good enough to earn the adjective "competent" but it's such standard stuff done in such a routine way that it's unlikely to linger in the memory. (The TV series might have been more successful had it come along in the mid-1950s rather than the mid-1960s.) Leading man Ralph Taeger has a wry quality which is refreshing and he looks pretty good with his shirt off but, for some reason or other, his career quickly faded after this point and he hasn't been heard from in years. Too bad. He had "potential." A highlight comes when he's staked-out by a vengeful Apache who's about to pour hot coals on Taeger's bare chest when a rescue intervenes. Bring staked-out and left to die under a scorching sun had become something of a routine torture in TV westerns. It happened to Richard Boone in "Have Gun Will Travel," Robert Horton in "Wagon Train," and both Peter Brown and William Smith in "Laredo." Modesty prevailed, however, and in none of these cases were the men's legs spread very far apart. Taeger's legs, however, are spread apart and tied to stakes -- he still wears boots! -- at such an extreme angle that his stance inevitable draws attention to his crotch and gives the scene a homoerotic quality which might shock those who think of these TV westerns as "family entertainment."
- May 20, 1999
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