A Distant Trumpet

A Distant Trumpet

Raoul Walsh (1964)

117min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The last film from veteran director Raoul Walsh, who was deemed too old to be insured at the time this was made - Jack Warner himself (the last surviving Warner brother) posted the bond for his old associate. The result is impressive: a handsome, intelligent cavalry western, superbly scored by Max Steiner who memorably worked with Walsh on They Died with Their Boots On and ravishingly photographed in Panavisioned Technicolor by western old-hand William Clothier. Walsh makes partial reparation to the hordes of Indians slaughtered in previous westerns by using subtitles in an attempt to preserve their dignity, nearly 30 years before Kevin Costner did likewise in Dances with Wolves. The complex military themes, lifted from Paul Horgan's novel, are well handled, too. What lets down this fine movie, though, is the casting. Newlyweds Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette are just too resolutely 1960s in hairstyle and attitude to convince a viewer that they belong in Walsh's Old West.

Summary

A cavalry officer is assigned to a fort on the Mexican border, where he resolves to whip the undisciplined recruits into shape. He is soon tempted away from his fiancee by his commanding officer's wife and also has to resolve the conflict with a rebellious Native American chief. Western, starring Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette.

Cast & Crew

Second Lt Matthew Hazard Troy Donahue
Kitty Mainwaring Suzanne Pleshette
Laura Greenleaf Diane McBain
General Alexander Quait James Gregory
Lt Mainwaring William Reynolds
Seely Jones Claude Akins
Captain Gray Judson Pratt
Major Hiram Prescott Bartlett Robinson
Cranshaw Bobby Bare
Slattery Richard X Slattery
Sergeant Kroger Larry Ward
Secretary of War Kent Smith
Director Raoul Walsh
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Other Information

Language: Some Native American dialogue +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Warner Pathe LtdGuidance: Edited for content.
Drama