Cavalry Lieutenant Can Elliott is ordered to bring in Seminole Indian chief Black Cat, who is leading his tribe in a campaign of terror and bloodshed. Black Cat kidnaps Susan Hannah, ... See full summary »
Having a welcome strategic expertise in both the hot and dank Florida swamplands and the local tribe of Seminole Indians, the brilliant and ethical West Point graduate, Second Lieutenant Lance Caldwell, is transferred to scheming Major Degan's Everglades outpost, in 1835. Supposedly impeding the development of white civilisation, the Seminoles must be expelled from their native lands at all costs; all that stands between the aspirations of the venomous commanding officer and the last of the Indian clans is Caldwell. Sooner or later, a dead sentry and a fiery clash with the men of the powerful Seminole leader, Chief Osceola, will stain the vast and impassable marshes with blood, as a strong-willed beautiful woman stands in the middle. Can Caldwell be the voice of reason and compromise?Written by
"Seminole" is very much like the great John Ford film, "Fort Apache" from a few years previous. Both are about an insanely inflexible commanding officer who ignores advice from what should have been his trusted scout...a man who knew how to deal with the natives. Instead, the officers are intent on using the military's might to subjugate the local tribe...and go blustering into battle like bulls in a china shop! Of course, "Fort Apache" is a better film but both are worth your time.
The film begins with a court martial and Lt. Caldwell (Rock Hudson) is on trial for his life. His testimony is the story you then see. Caldwell arrives for his post under Major Degan (Richard Carlson). The Major is a major butt-head--and he won't listen to Caldwell despite Caldwell's experience dealing with the Seminole Indians. Instead, the Major just wants to trudge through the swamps with his men and attack and kill the tribe...and Caldwell warns him that it would be suicide. Not surprisingly, when they do go in search of Osceola and the other Seminole tribesmen, they are soundly defeated...and the idiot Major blames Caldwell! Later, the Major offers to talk to Osceola under a flag of truce...and then arrests Osceola and has him beaten! Like I said, the Major is a butt-head!
So is this movie any good? Well, yes and no. I think bkoganbing did a terrific review--talking about the pluses and minuses in the film. It's true that much of the equipment was not true to the period but I also had to laugh at the film being set among the swamps of Florida and the soldiers NEVER sweated or were beset by bugs! The soldiers would have been wearing WOOL and it's rarely less than about 80 in the winter there...and nearly 100 in the summer...yet no sweat!! However, despite its deficiencies and historical inaccuracies, it is interesting and well worth seeing because it portrays the Seminole rather well.
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