Just saw this movie. It has everything that I have zero interest in: lost of children as main characters, many of whom are terrible; lots of Indian stuff; lots of personal/touching/stop-the-action-for-a-cute-bit-of-speechifying-as-the-slow-music-plays moments; the big courtroom sermon at the end..... and yet somehow, it kind of works and keeps you entertained. Maybe it's just cuz of Widmark. And the beautiful location (Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona, according to the utterly unreliable imdb). The boy actors are awful; the girls are only mildly better. (I was particularly hoping that the oldest boy would die just so he could shut the hell up already; and he has this heavy Brooklyn accent in "Arizona 1873"
. He belonged in a bad gangster movie, not a Western).
I give the cliche'd "final courtroom scene with the sermonizing of the movie's theme" credit for one thing: it actually manages to sermonize about THREE different points: how there isn't any difference between a) war violence and individual violence, b) legal justice and individual justice; and b) White Law and Comanche Law .
Somehow I was able to hold my nose/ laugh/roll my eyes through the NUMEROUS bits of speechifying and actually enjoy myself somewhat. This movie may have sucked if it didn't have a lead actor/performance like Widmark. Oh, and that big speech he gave Felicia Farr on top of the mountain -- the "this is my desperate attempt to find the right words to convince you that you would be the happiest woman alive if only you allowed me into your pants" speech -- I got a real kick out of that bit of dialogue; for some reason, I almost laughed as hard as I did during Lee Marvin's speech to the woman in the covered wagon in Seven Men From Now
(I think every guy can relate to having that moment: where the realization just hits you, that "This is IT -- if only, right this second, I can find the right words to convince this babe that it would be in her best interests to feel how i feel -- something good may happen....