Just before dying from wounds received in a skirmish with Indians Capt. Forsythe orders his cavalry troop's doctor, Capt. Robert MacClaw, to take command. His men don't like it and think that Sgt. Elliott should have been put in temporary command until they reach the Fort. MacClaw admits he knows little of battle tactics but takes charge only with the promise that he will do the best he can. If anything, the men are embarrassed at having such an inexperienced man leading them and MacClaw agrees not to let on that he's a doctor. When they arrive at a staging post they are ordered by the Colonel in command of a group of infantry to escort a wagon train of settlers moving west. There may be smallpox among them however and MacClaw is caught between his promise to his men and the demands of Martha Cutting who is trying to deal with the epidemic.Written by
This movie is loosely based upon the career of Dr. Leonard Wood who participated in the last campaign against Geronimo in 1886. He took over an infantry detachment after the officers were killed and was awarded the Medal of Honor for that and for carrying dispatches 100 miles through hostile territory. Wood formed the Rough Riders with Theodore Roosevelt and was eventually appointed Chief of Staff of the Army. The Fort Leonard Wood army base in Missouri is named after him. See more »
The sergeant says the captain's straps have a black background. As a doctor, the straps would have had a green background. Yellow was the correct color for a cavalry officer. No service had a black background. See more »
Capt. Robert MacClaw:
My troops has extra mounts, sir. I thought perhaps you would like to use one.
I'm an infantryman, MacClaw. If I'm going to die, I'm not going to do it sitting down.
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Although I have never seen this movie, I am studying widescreen movies of the fifties and their influence on an audience beginning to be sated with the small screen, i.e. hypnotized by the cathode ray, i.e. tainted by TV!....This one has to be one of the first westerns to use this photographic process, later to be called Panavision. According to the Widescreenmuseum website, ''Broken Lance'' was made in '54, along with the "western" "& Brides for 7 Brothers"; ''Chief Crazy Horse'' was filmed in in '55, along with ''The Kentuckian'' and ''The Man from Laramie'' .... So I am gonna call it like I see it for now - All hail Sam Fuller!
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