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The Indian Fighter (1955)

Not Rated | | Western | 1956 (Italy)
A scout leading a wagon train through hostile Indian country unwittingly gets involved with a Sioux chief's daughter.

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

Robert L. Richards (story) (as Ben Kadish), Frank Davis (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Johnny Hawks
Elsa Martinelli ... Onahti
Walter Matthau ... Wes Todd
Diana Douglas ... Susan Rogers
Walter Abel ... Captain Trask
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Chivington (as Lon Chaney)
Eduard Franz ... Red Cloud
Alan Hale Jr. ... Will Crabtree (as Alan Hale)
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Briggs (as Elisha Cook)
Ray Teal ... Morgan
Frank Cady ... Trader Joe
Michael Winkelman ... Tommy Rogers
William Phipps ... Lt. Blake
Harry Landers ... Grey Wolf / Captain Trask Attaché
Hank Worden ... Crazy Bear / Guardhouse Keeper
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Storyline

Johnny Hawks, a former Indian fighter, returns to the West after the Civil War. He reacquaints himself with the Indian band led by Red Cloud. Red Cloud's beautiful daughter has now grown into womanhood... Unscrupulous whisky traders are after the gold on Indian land. Hawks averts serious bloodshed by convincing Red Cloud to make a treaty... Hawks leads an Oregon-bound wagon train through Indian territory. When he slips away to see the chief's daughter, trouble between braves and whisky traders flares up anew, putting the wagon train and the nearby fort in peril... Written by David Woodfield

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only one man has the power to stop a war. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1956 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Indian Fighter See more »

Filming Locations:

Bend, Oregon, USA

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,450,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Bryna Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature from Kirk Douglas' then new production company, Bryna, named for his mother See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film, after Red Cloud shows to Johnny Hawks two men hung by the feet, Hawks stands talking to Red Cloud and Grey Wolf. Then his hands appears either grabbing the holster or by his sides, alternately, when it cuts from one shot to another. See more »

Quotes

Briggs: Look at that scenery!
Johnny Hawks: What's the matter with it?
Briggs: Needs photographing
Johnny Hawks: I like it the way it is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
While far from perfect, it handled the Indians in a way far more credibly than most films of the day
1 September 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

With a title like THE Indian FIGHTER, you'd think that this was the standard "let's kill all the Indians" type movie so typical in the 1940s and 50s. However, like some of the better cowboy and Indian films of the era (such as the great FORT APACHE and the not so great CHEYENNE), the reason for the Indians hating the Whites is explained--they are not just unreasoning savages or idiots, but people justifiably angry at their mistreatment by the invading Whites. Because of this, I appreciated the film and was also happy that it also wasn't like some of the newer breed of films that paint the Indians and completely noble and the Whites as the epitome of evil! It did seem well balanced AND featured mostly Indians in Indian parts (though, oddly, they chose an Italian lady to play the female leading Indian!).

The rest of the film, while entertaining and having the usual great performance by Kirk Douglas, also is very simplistic and poorly thought out at times. For example, the motivation for why Douglas saved Walter Mathau's sorry butt at the beginning of the film is unclear. It defied common sense not to just let the Indians kill Mathau. Plus, at the end of the film, Douglas' confrontation with Douglas and Lon Chaney, Jr. was a long time coming but was resolved awfully quickly--making it seem very anti-climactic. Still, overall it does stand out from the HUGE number of look alike Westerns and it is worth your time.


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