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Author Topic: The Battle at Apache Pass (1952)  (Read 1411 times)
titoli
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« on: May 05, 2009, 10:39:54 AM »

Not very original, but its pro-Indian stance surely was at the time. Well-wotth watching for the gorgeous scenery and photography but also for a fast pace and a good final battle. Chandler is extremely effective as an Indian. Egan and Lund are very good. Elam plays Elam. And in spite of what I read in IMDB reviews, Susan Cabot as Kochiss wife is good too. 7\10 

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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 01:52:21 AM »

Somewhat pro-Indian, yeah, but still very simplistic in that account. The Apache don't know how to heal wounds? - Please. ''The medicine of the white man is still very strong!'', or something like that, says Cochise, in awe. Hahahaha.

But despite that I agree with everything titoli said in the first post.


7/10

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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 02:02:00 AM »

This is, in fact, a follow up to the 1950 Delmer Daves Western with James Stewart - Broken Arrow. I'll have to watch that one too one of these days.

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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 03:19:17 AM »

Although generally the story has been done many times elsewhere I thought that there was a few pieces of originality here and there in the film. For instance it had never occurred to me that howitzers would have been used by the cavalry at that time but that's probably me.

There are enough stunning vistas in this to keep me satisfied. Chandler is great as the honourable Cochise. I reckon that no other non-native actor has achieved such a good Indian role as he did. I hadn't noticed what strange eyes Elam had before I saw him in this. I always like to see him popping up in westerns. I like this one.

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 03:27:28 AM »

A lot of the cast are weak.

Cochise does not break his word - it's Geronimo.

The Battle at Apache Pass is directed by George Sherman and written by Gerald Drayson Adams. It stars Jeff Chandler, John Lund, Bruce Cowling, John Hudson, Susan Cabot, Jay Silverheels, Gregg Palmer and Jack Elam. Music is by Hans J. Salter and cinematography Charles P. Boyle. A Technicolor production, the location's for the shoot were at Moab, Utah, with Arches National Park, Colorado River, Courthouse Wash, Ida Gulch and Professor Valley forming the backdrops to the story.

The film is a fictionalised account of The Bascom Affair of 1861 and the Battle of Apache Pass that occurred in 1862, the latter of which saw the Indians witness for the first time in the region an artillery attack by means of mountain howitzers. It deals in the events that led up to the battle and focuses on the in fighting between Chiricahua warriors Cochise and Geronimo.

Although both Chandler and Silverheels reprise their character roles from Broken Arrow 1950, The Battle at Apache Pass takes place prior to the events depicted in the 1950 movie. As solid as they come story wise, and with beautiful Technicolor scenery, Sherman's film is only really let down by not having acting gravitas in the American roles. Messrs Lund, Cowling and Hudson are OK, but the material needed more assured performers to play off of the excellent Chandler. On the feminine side Cabot does the best with what little she is given to do, while Beverly Tyler, playing a pretty important character narratively speaking, is just a pretty tug-of-war prop device. However, it's easy to look away from the lack of dramatic worth in the acting because Sherman's action set ups are very good, with the actual battle of the title brilliantly constructed in a rock formed valley, featuring reams of extras, lots of war-fare and the thunder of howitzers filling the ears. While Boyle's (Horizon's West/Tomahawk) photography is sumptuous and a credit to the cinematographer's craft. Salter's score, tho, is only standard fare, with familiar Redskin strains for the Indians and drum beat military thrusts for the Cavalry sequences.

A fine film to look at, with a more than interesting story driving it forward, it sadly, tho, needed more grit from a good portion of the cast. 6.5/10

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