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Author Topic: Last of the Comanches (1953)  (Read 1528 times)
Dust Devil
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« on: February 26, 2011, 02:48:59 AM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044828/


Ahoy. Here's what one could call a ''nifty little semi-forgotten Western'', from our old friend André De Toth. Pretty basic in concept and story yet thoroughly professional and therefore 100% enjoyable. This one is very preoccupied with small shifts in the whole, they do 'em right, all the boys and girls on the team. The characters are nothing special but are acted well. I especially enjoyed Broderick Crawford's unassumingly meticulous Sgt. Trainor, he leads the parade without blowing the trumpet too often, but when he does you know why he's the one in front. The rest of the cast is okay. The direction is great, the action scenes are really good. As I've said: here they don't deal as much with the ''bigger picture'', sure, the Indian rebellion (or whatever it is) is raging around and the boys are in the middle of it, but they are more concerned with the so to speak ''little survival duties''. That seems to be the main concern of the whole picture and everything else is subaltern to this. This seems done in the same vein of de Toth's later war drama Play Dirty, it may not be the same story but the spirit seems the same to me.

And finally, best for last - the look of this movie: I honestly feel I'm too stupid to comment it, so I won't even try. I don't understand how this one isn't in the f-ing manuals, it is, without any doubt one of the best. The scenery, the lighting, the sets, everything around the cinematography is flawless, there isn't one single thing they didn't get right. Not only did they got it all right, but also the best from every shot. Please, someone watch this W as soon as possible and write something smart here.


8/10

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 02:50:39 AM »

This is also some sort of remake of the 1943 Humphrey Bogart vehicle Sahara (you'll find Lloyd Bridges in both), and an old 1937 Soviet movie called The Thirteen.

I don't think I've ever seen Sahara, if I did - I remember nothing of it.

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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2011, 02:54:03 AM »

There was topic of some sort: http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1626.0

Hmm, don't know if I should merge it... Undecided

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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2011, 03:07:25 AM »

Since I'm talking to myself anyway at this point - I just realized De Toth directed 4 (F-O-U-R, yeah) movies that year - now that's bloody fast! I knew he was fast but this is unbelievable. One of them is the cult House of Wax, with Vincent Price, the other two are Westerns starring Randolph Scott. The next year he also did 4 movies. Man...

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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2011, 04:58:03 PM »

Never heard of it, where did you get a copy?

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2011, 11:30:35 PM »

Never heard of it, where did you get a copy?

I didn't - I caught it by surprise on the telly. Cry

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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2017, 10:46:13 PM »

Adding my review.

I'll tell you when to drink, when to eat, when to sleep, and when to breathe!

Last of the Comanches (AKA: The Sabre and the Arrow) is directed by Andre De Toth and adapted to the screen by Kenneth Gamet. It stars Broderick Crawford, Barbara Hale, Lloyd Bridges, Mickey Shaughnessy, Johnny Stewart, George Matthews and Hugh Sanders. A Technicolor production with cinematography by Charles Lawton Junior and Ray Cory and music by George Duning.

Safe as a bomb shelter Western. A remake of Zoltan Korda/Humphrey Bogart's war movie Sahara from 1943, Last of the Comanches finds Broderick Crawford as the leader of what remains of a massacred cavalry troop. As they make their way across the desert they pick up ragtag group of stagecoach passengers and as water runs low, they must fight for survival against fierce Comanches led by Black Cloud.

In essence it's a survivalist story with some Indian War action dotted around the outskirts of plotting. It's nice and airy, pleasingly performed, easy on the eye with its Technicolor photography, and De Toth once again shows himself to be a good marshall of action scenes. Crawford carries the movie of course, imbuing Sergeant Trainor with fearless bluster that holds the dysfunctional group together. The narrative strength comes from the lack of water, both for the whiteys and the Comanche, where the often forgotten weapons of war, that of food or drink, firmly keeps the story engrossing.

Not as good as Sahara but still a safe recommendation to Western and Brod Crawford fans. 7/10

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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 11:41:46 AM »

I'm sure I saw it before, but probably it was eons ago, like the '70's. You can watch it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8qPGo9TApU

At 56' there's the most effective set of explosions I remember in a western this side of Leone. The movie is very good until the action in the mission which is too repetitive. 7/10

« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 02:25:09 PM by titoli » Logged

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