Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: titoli on November 27, 2009, 03:20:50 PM

Title: Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)
Post by: titoli on November 27, 2009, 03:20:50 PM
This has a good start and a very good finale centered around Custer's LS. The middle part is more cliched, though it has a good confrontation between US cavalry and Sioux. Milland is too old for the part and his reenlistment in in the cavalry (and in his rival's regiment at that) absurd. The love story sucks, as Tucker's McLaglenisms (but he delivers a memorable death). The visual quality of the italian dvd is mediocre. 7\10
Title: Re: Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)
Post by: titoli on July 08, 2017, 09:11:57 PM
Must admit that I didn't remember a thing about this movie. But I read the novel and so I rewatched it. The finale suffers from comparison with the one in the novel, which is all about Reno's part in Custer's LS. It is reworked in a quite simplistic way, especially the confrontation between Milland and his rival. In the book the rivalry is more complicated and the finale quite different. Still the novel suffers from too much ambition: Haycox aimed at a bigger target, he wanted to write a serious novel, but ends up delivering a just more sophisticated romance for a female audience. He should have stuck to the portrait of the 7th cavalry's daily life before LBH's end. So I give the novel a 8/10 and the movie, which adheres to the novel quite strictly in the first part, stays at 7/10. 
Title: Re: Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)
Post by: Spikeopath on July 09, 2017, 08:22:48 AM
Adding review.

Guns, Arrows, Bugles and Revenge.

Bugles in the Afternoon is directed by Roy Rowland and adapted to screenplay by Daniel Mainaring and Harry Brown from the Ernest Haycox novel. It stars Ray Milland, Helena Carter, Hugh Marlowe, Forrest Tucker, Barton Maclane and George Reeves. A Technicolor production with music by Dimitri Tiomkin and cinematography by Wilfred M. Cline.

Solid enjoyable fare that doesn't push any boundaries. Story finds Milland as Kern Shafter, a cavalryman cashiered out the service for running through Edward Garnett (Marlowe). After drifting for a while, Shafter ends up at Bismarck and joins the Seventh Cavalry at Fort Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, his new superior is none other than Captain Edward Garnett! As the two men vie for the same woman, Josephine Russell (Carter), Garnett continually puts Shafter into perilous situations as the Indian War rages. With the arrival of Custer (Sheb Wooley) to lead the men for an attack on the Sioux at Little Big Horn, Garnett and Shafter will each find their day of destiny.

It's all very colourful and muscular, with well staged fights and nifty stunt work. The love triangle core of the story doesn't grate or swamp the film in pointless mush, however, it seems strange to have the massacre at Little Big Horn in your story, yet only have it as a minor side issue to a couple of guys feuding with each other. Milland and Tucker, the latter as an Irish Private who befriends Shafter and welcomes pain as a test of manhood, both score well with engaging turns, while Carter also does good work with what could easily have been a token girl in the middle role. Location photography in Kanab is delightful (Cline would prove to be a dab hand in Westerns for the rest of the decade), and Tiomkin scores the music with verve and vigour.

There's some stereotyping of the Indians, and this even though there are some real Native Americans in the cast, while Marlowe is done no favours as his villainy is poorly written, but a better than average time waster this proves to be on a wintry afternoon by the fire. 6.5/10