Comanche (1956 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Sherman|
|Produced by||Carl Kreuger|
|Screenplay by||Carl Krueger|
|Music by||Herschel Burke Gilbert|
|Cinematography||Jorge Stahl Jr.|
|Edited by||Charles L. Kimball|
|Carl Krueger Productions|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release date(s)||March, 1956|
|Running time||87 minutes|
|Box office||$1.15 million (US)|
In 1875, near Durango, Mexico, a group of renegade Comanche attack a peaceful village and kidnap the daughter of a Spanish aristocrat. They escape the Mexican Army by crossing into US territory. Jim Read (Dana Andrews), a frontier scout, is sent to investigate and ease tensions between the Mexicans and the Comanche. But long standing hatred and the profitable business of scalp-hunting does not help in resolving the conflict. Read is sent to negotiate with the Comanche chief, Quanah (Kent Smith). Whilst searching for Quanah, Read sees Art Downey (Stacy Harris), a local scalp-hunter, shoot and injure a Comanche. Read rescues him and takes him to Quanah. Read however is himself accused of the shooting by Black Cloud (Henry Brandon), the renegade leader, until the injured brave recovers enough to clear his name. Read reveals to Quanah that they are cousins and that his mother was the sister of Quanah’s mother. Quanah swears loyalty to his white friend. Read leaves to fetch government officials to a peace council, but discovers a cavalry detachment that has been massacred by Black Cloud and his renegades. The Government official, Commissioner Ward (Lowell Gilmore), has ordered the cavalry to subdue the Indians, by force if necessary. Black Cloud attacks a column of cavalry troopers and captures Ward. Quanah and a large force of loyal Comanche intervene and threaten to attack Black Cloud. Vengeful Black Cloud kills Ward. In the ensuing battle, Read kills Downey and Black Cloud and peace is restored.
- Dana Andrews as Jim Read
- Kent Smith as Quanah Parker
- Nestor Paiva as Puffer
- Henry Brandon as Black Cloud
- Stacy Harris as Downey
- John Litel as General Nelson A Miles
- Lowell Gilmore as Commissioner Ward
- Mike Mazurki as Flat Mouth
- Tony Carbajal as Little Snake
- Linda Cristal as Margarita
- Reed Sherman as Lieutenant French
- Iron Eyes Cody as Medicine Arrow the medicine man
Writer-producer Carl Krueger spent five to six years researching the story. He says he was offered up to $30,000 for the script but held out to make it independently as he wanted the movie shot in Mexico.
Film critic Dennis Schwartz liked the film and wrote, "George Sherman directs and Carl Krueger provides the entertaining script for this sympathetic Western to the Native Americans. It shows there are baddies on both sides. The bad whites are scalphunters who sell the Indian scalps to make dolls. Filmed in the Old Mexican territory of Durango. It's set in 1875. The film opens and closes with its theme song "A Man is as Good as his Word," as sung by The Lancers ... Purports to be based on the true way these bloody incidents with the Comanches, the cavalry and the raids into the Mexican border towns actually happened and why they did."
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
- War Whoops Again Fill Old Durango Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 23 Oct 1955: D1.
- Drama: Film Vividly Portrays Indians' Mexican Raid Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 Mar 1956: 24.
- Schwartz, Dennis, film review, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, August 5, 2005. Accessed: July 3, 2013.