|DRAGOON WELLS MASSACRE (director: Harold Schuster; screenwriters: from a story by Oliver Drake/Warren Douglas; cinematographer: William Clothier; editor: Maurice Wright; music: Paul Dunlap; cast: Dennis O'Keefe (Capt. Matt Riordan), Barry Sullivan (Link Ferris), Mona Freeman (Ann Bradley), Katy Jurado (Mara Fay), Sebastian Cabot (Jonah McAdam), Jack Elam (Tioga), Trevor Bardette (Marshal Bill Haney), Max Showalter (Phillip Scott), Hank Worden (Hopi Charlie), Jon Shepodd (Tom), Warren Douglas (Jud), John War Eagle (Chief Yellow Claw), Judy Stranges (Susan, Station Agent's Daughter), Alma Beltran (Station Agent's Wife); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Lindsley Parsons; Allied Artists; 1957)|
by Dennis Schwartz
B-Western. Director Harold Schuster ("My
Friend Flicka"/"Loophole"/"Black Beauty") keeps it
action-packed. Warren Douglas adapts
it from the predictable story by Oliver Drake. The
location shot visuals by cinematographer William
Clothier are splendid. It's set in the Old West
in the 1860s.
convicted murderers, Link Ferris (Barry
Sullivan) and Tioga (Jack
Elam), are transported in a prison wagon
through Apache territory, in the Arizona desert, to
Fort Smith, Arkansas. Riding along are Marshal
Bill Haney (Trevor Bardette),
his deputy Tom (Jon Shepodd) and the driver Jud
(Warren Douglas, also the screenwriter).
down the trail, the unscrupulous Indian trader (Sebastian
Cabot) locates a detachment of cavalry
troops murdered by Apaches, with the only survivor Capt. Matt
O'Keefe). Soon the prison wagon
comes to that spot and then a stagecoach. The
coach, coincidentally, is carrying Riordan's
former sweetheart (Mona
wealthy fiancé (Max Showalter), a sultry
Mexican entertainer (Katy Jurado) and the
Indian driver Hopi
Worden). Riordan orders both the prison
wagon and stagecoach to
alter their course and head for Fort Dragoon Wells, as
he leads the party through hostile Indian territory.
Expecting Yellow Claw (John War Eagle)
to attack, Riordan orders the marshal to free Link and
Tioga and arm them if attacked.
sort on entanglements occur, as Yellow Claw follows
the party and starts picking them off one at a time.
It forces the lawmen and prisoners to bond together to
survive, while the lawmen must fight for survival and
also prevent the prisoners from escaping.
REVIEWED ON 4/29/2015 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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