EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HONDO AND THE APACHES (TV) (director: Lee H. Katzin; screenwriters: from the earlier screenplay by James Edward Grant/Andrew J. Fenady/from the story "The Gift of Cochise" by Louis L'Amour; cinematographer: Lester Shorr; editor: Melvin Shapiro; music: Richard Markowitz; cast: Ralph Taeger (Hondo Lane), Kathie Browne (Angie Dow), Michael Rennie (Tribolet), Gary Merrill (Ed Dow), Robert Taylor (Gallagher), Randy Boone (Sean Gallagher), Jim Davis (Krantz), Michael Pate (Chief Vittoro), William Bryant (Colonel Crook), Buddy Foster (Johnny Dow), Gary Clarke (Captain Richards); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andrew J. Fenady/John Wayne; Vintage Home Entertainment; 1967)|
entertaining, but forgettable western."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
TV director Lee H. Katzin ("The Break") helms Hondo
and the Apaches, a movie never released to American theaters (released
only to European theaters). It was cobbled
from the first two episodes of a television series that ran for only a
year in 1967 (basically a remake of the 1953 Hondo). It's based on the
novel by Louis L'Amour. The
lead character, Hondo Lane (Ralph
Taeger), is derived from the
one created by John Wayne in
the 1953 movie (the Duke is coproducer, his Batjac company financed
both the movie and the TV series).
Hondo is a halfbreed U.S.
Army agent, an ex-Cavalry
man, ex-Confederate soldier and Apache sympathizer (his Apache wife,
the daughter of Chief Vittoro, was killed in a Cavalry raid), whose
army mission is to talk to his father-in-law, Apache Chief Vittoro (Michael
Pate), into accepting a peace treaty offered by Colonel Crook (William Bryant). Pate is the only
actor from the original movie. Renegade
Apaches are determined to stop Hondo's efforts to keep
the peace between the Chief and the troops at Arizona’s Fort
Lowell, and raid the fort and surrounding area.
In a subplot, Robert Taylor
plays a mine owner facing bankruptcy because his miners threaten to
leave if the army can't protect them from the Indians. After Taylor's two appearances on the TV
series as Gallagher and his appearance in this movie, he never made
another western. Taylor, a heavy smoker, died in 1967 at the age of 57
from lung cancer.
There are cameo appearances by film actors Gary
Merrill, Michael Rennie, and
Jim Davis. Kathie Browne plays
Angie Dow, the attractive
sweet wife of the fort's mean-spirited supply store owner Ed Dow.
It's a reasonably
entertaining, but forgettable western.
REVIEWED ON 4/30/2010 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ