Red Tomahawk (1967)

Approved   |    |  Action, Drama, War

Red Tomahawk (1967) Poster

An army captain tries to convince the inhabitants of a village to hand him over two machine-guns so he can attack the indians.



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1 May 2019 | kevinolzak
| A.C. Lyles Western number 9
1966's "Red Tomahawk" was the ninth entry in a series of 13 Paramount 'B' Westerns courtesy producer A.C. Lyles from 1963 to 1967, designed to meet huge demand in Europe but quick playoff in the US, featuring a multitude of familiar players in need of a decent paycheck. Several were shot back to back, usually two weeks apiece, which is why this attempted reunion between top billed Howard Keel and Betty Hutton from "Annie Get Your Gun" did not come to fruition, Betty's inability to keep up the swift pace resulting in the casting of Joan Caulfield instead. Keel's Captain Tom York is a government agent in 1876 South Dakota, the first to discover the massacre of Custer's cavalry at Little Big Horn by Sitting Bull's Sioux warriors, making his way to nearby Deadwood to message authorities about his findings. With the telegraph lines down and the townspeople unusually hostile, York only has two allies to help him recover a pair of Gatling guns to help the army defeat the insurrection. It's nice to see Scott Brady as a good guy for a change, joined by one time only Lyles veteran Broderick Crawford and saloon girl Joan Caulfield, still an eyeful in one of her few movie roles (only six after 1951) amid much television work. Among the townsmen there are really no standouts, Wendell Corey appears to be the main villain before getting killed off in ten minutes, Richard Arlen's telegrapher has little to do, Donald Barry's deserter and Roy Jenson's prospector in and out rather quickly. Tom Drake's character acts like a preacher and aids Captain York, and Ben Cooper ("Johnny Guitar") shows up at the end for the action packed climax. The rampaging Indians are granted no personality so real tension is sadly lacking, but it does seem to contain more battles than other Lyles oaters. Joan Caulfield would return for the producer's last Paramount Western "Buckskin," her natural beauty and believability making more of the too small part of a widow weary of the violence that claimed the lives of her husband and child. This was the one entry that seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth after its theatrical run, few TV screenings and no video release, but all 13 are easily available for dedicated film buffs.

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