Pony Soldier

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Pony Soldier
Original film poster
Directed byJoseph M. Newman
Produced bySamuel G. Engel
Screenplay byJohn C. Higgins
Based onThe Saturday Evening Post story by Garnett Weston
StarringTyrone Power
Cameron Mitchell
Thomas Gomez
Penny Edwards
Narrated byTyrone Power
Michael Rennie
Music byAlex North
Alfred Newman
(musical direction)
CinematographyHarry Jackson A.S.C.
Edited byJohn W. McCafferty
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • December 19, 1952 (1952-12-19)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.65 million (US rentals)[1]

Pony Soldier is a 1952 American Technicolor Northern Western set in Canada but filmed in Sedona, Arizona. It is based on a 1951 Saturday Evening Post story "Mounted Patrol" by Garnett Weston. It was retitled MacDonald of the Canadian Mounties in Britain and The Last Arrow in France and Spain.


In 1876, the North-West Mounted Police send Constable Duncan MacDonald (Tyrone Power) and a blackmailed Blackfoot scout (Thomas Gomez) to get the Cree to sign Treaty 6 with The Crown. Initially hostile, the Cree are influenced by a Fata Morgana type mirage that they mistake for the power of Queen Victoria.

In addition to negotiating with the Cree, MacDonald of the Mounted rescues white hostages (Robert Horton and Penny Edwards), arrests a murderer, and adopts a Cree son (Anthony Earl Numkena).


Included in the cast were Richard Boone and Frank deKova with ending narration by Michael Rennie. Golden Globe winning actor Earl Holliman made his film debut in this playing an uncredited role[2].


Director Newman originally scouted locations in Montana but finding nothing he thought suitable, the film was made in Sedona, Arizona.[3] During development of the project, technical advisor on Native American issues, Nipo T. Strongheart, wrote a critical review of the proposed screenplay, even though other departments of the studio had begun work on it. This led to a meeting with studio executives which, though he described it as feeling like he was called to the principal's office, led to a major reconstruction of the whole project.[4][5] Strongheart worked with the Cree people and their language, and coached non-Indian and Indian actors throughout the movie. During the filming at Sedona, production was interrupted by snowstorms and the flash of a nuclear weapon tested 300 miles away in Nevada.[6] The producers recruited 450 Navajo to play Cree when large numbers were needed. Strongheart, who also plays a Medicine Man in the film) also toured to promote the movie.[4][7] Strongheart had appeared in the 1925 film Braveheart with Tyrone Power Sr.[4][7]


  1. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  2. ^ https://www.famemoose.com/earl-holliman/movies[dead link]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 30, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c Strongheart, Nipo T. (Autumn 1954). "History in Hollywood". The Wisconsin Magazine of History. 38 (1): 10–16, 41–46. JSTOR 4632754.
  5. ^ Joanna Hearne (25 January 2013). Native Recognition: Indigenous Cinema and the Western. SUNY Press. pp. 78, 107. ISBN 978-1-4384-4399-7.
  6. ^ p.99 Heidinger, Lisa, Trevillyan, Janeen, Sedona Historical Society Sedona 2007 Arcadia Publishing
  7. ^ a b "Film Actor works with Ty Jr, now". The Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Aug 31, 1952. p. 4. Retrieved August 25, 2014.

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