Robert Aldrich (1954)

U Certificate


Our Score
This courageous (for its day) film was an early feature from Burt Lancaster's production outfit, Hecht-Lancaster, which would go on to produce such classics as Marty and Sweet Smell of Success. The direction was entrusted to newcomer and former assistant director Robert Aldrich, who rose to the challenge and turned in a fine and intelligent western with splendid set pieces. He is helped immeasurably by the dynamic, teeth gleaming athletic presence of Lancaster in the lead as Massai, the last noble Apache, who tried to hold out against the overwhelming forces of the US Army, and so passed into legend. This topic was revolutionary stuff for this era in cinema, when "Injuns" regularly ate the white man's dust. The depiction of the so-called growth of western civilisation through Massai's eyes is superbly directed, and the film, though brutal, presents a realistic and wholly sympathetic viewpoint, despite being compromised by the happy ending insisted upon by the distributors; Harold Hecht and Lancaster wanted their hero needlessly shot by the cavalry.



Cast & Crew

Massai Burt Lancaster
Nalinle Jean Peters
Al Sieber John McIntire
Hondo Charles Bronson
Weddle John Dehner
Santos Paul Guilfoyle (1)
Clagg Ian MacDonald
Lt Col Beck Walter Sande
Dawson Morris Ankrum
Geronimo Monte Blue
Director Robert Aldrich
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. LtdAvailable on: video and DVD