|THE BLACK DAKOTAS (director/writer: Ray Nazarro; screenwriter: Ray Buffum/story by DaVallon Scott and Buffum; cinematographer: Ellis W. Carter; editor: Aaron Stell; music: Mischa Bakaleinikoff; cast: Gary Merrill (Zachary Paige aka Brock Marsh), John War Eagle (War Cloud,), Jay Silverheels ( Black Buffalo), Noah Beery Jr. ("Gimpy" Joe Woods), Fay Roope (John Lawrence), Wanda Hendrix (Ruth Lawrence), John Bromfield (Mike Daugherty), Peter Whitney (Grimes), James Griffith (Warren), Howard Wendell (Judge Horatio Bake), Robert Simon (Marshal Whit Collins), George Keymas (Spotted Deer); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Wallace MacDonald; Columbia Pictures; 1954)|
forgettable western that is flatly directed by
by Dennis Schwartz
forgettable western that is flatly directed by Ray
Nazarro ("Al Jennings of Oklahoma"/"Indian
Uprising"/"The Hired Gun"), that shows some life
during its action sequences.
set during the Civil War, in the Dakotas, in the Sioux
territory. President Lincoln promises peace to
the Sioux Indians, who side with the Union, in order
to free up the soldiers from guarding the whites in
town and thereby use them to fight in the war, and
sends by stage his eastern emissary Zachary Paige with
the peace treaty (that gives the Indians their
hunting grounds, no white settlers and $100,000 in
gold). But renegade Confederate agent Brock
Marsh (Gary Merrill) kills the
stage driver and Paige and goes into town posing as
the vic, telling the marshal (Robert
Simon) and the judge (Howard
Wendell) the President sent him to make peace
with the Sioux leader War Cloud (John War
When John Lawrence (Fay Roope), a Reb sympathizer is hanged for trying to incite the Sioux to war, his feisty daughter Ruth (Wanda Hendrix) rails against the town but refuses to leave. Her boyfriend Mike (John Bromfield), the peaceful friend of War Cloud and stage-line owner, protects her from the lynch-minded townies like the hissable Grimes (Peter Whitney).
Joe Woods (Noah Beery Jr.)
knows the emissary is a phony and identifies himself
to Paige as a Reb cohort of Lawrence, and they
secretly team up so the phony Paige could meet the
other Rebs in town.
change among the group of true-to-the cause fanatic
Confederate sympathizers when they realize Brock is
only out for himself, as the greedy man thinks the
South's cause is a lost one and aims to steal the
shipment of Indian gold for himself and not give it
to the rebel cause.
Silverheels, the Tonto from the popular Lone Ranger
TV series, plays a Sioux who doesn't want peace with
the whites because he doesn't trust them and hopes
to take over the leadership from the elderly
chief War Cloud and start a war with the
The premise might be slightly unorthodox and promising, but the result is only a second-rate B western.
REVIEWED ON 12/16/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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