When Cochise bands together with Geronimo and other Indian tribes, Major Colton abandons his fort, heading towards Fort Sheridan, through Apache Pass. The only thing in his way are the Indians he used to call his friends.
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Three years after the end of the Apache wars, peacemaking chief Cochise dies. His elder son Taza shares his ideas, but brother Naiche yearns for war...and for Taza's betrothed, Oona. Naiche loses no time in starting trouble which, thanks to a bigoted cavalry officer, ends with the proud Chiricahua Apaches on a reservation, where they are soon joined by the captured renegade Geronimo, who is all it takes to light the firecracker's fuse...Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
When Cochise (played briefly by an uncredited Jeff Chandler) dies, his son Taza (played by Rock Hudson) takes over as chief of the Chiricahua Apaches and tries to maintain the peace. Followers of Geronimo wish to start fighting again.
It's a thoughtful script, and director Douglas Sirk claimed it was his favorite of his movies; he had always wanted to make a western. There are some issues with the movie, some caused by technical issues, and most by Rock Hudson's rather wooden acting. He's got two settings, thoughtful and angry, and that performance makes him, as the central character, seem rather stupid, especially given the more nuanced performances afforded the men playing cavalrymen.
The technical issues can be understood by knowing this was originally shot for 3-D, but released in a flat version. The compositions meant to showcase the depth of shot stick out like a sore thumb, lending a peculiarly film noir look to them. While Russel Metty's camerawork is exemplary in the big-screen shots of Utah, many of the more intimate scenes show up in a peculiarly dark and grey light.
The script by George Zuckerman keeps things moving along, but the problems of performance and camerawork lay heavily on this movie. Sirk and producer Ross Hunter abandoned the western for a series of glossy soap operas.
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