The Last Frontier (1955 film)

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The Last Frontier
The Last Frontier 1955.jpg
Directed byAnthony Mann
Produced byWilliam Fadiman
Written byPhilip Yordan
Russell S. Hughes
Based onThe Gilded Rooster
1947 novel
by Richard Emery Roberts
StarringVictor Mature
Guy Madison
Robert Preston
Anne Bancroft
James Whitmore
Music byLeigh Harline
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Edited byAl Clark
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • December 7, 1955 (1955-12-07) (New York City)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1 million (US)[1]

The Last Frontier is a 1955 American Western film directed by Anthony Mann and starring Victor Mature, Guy Madison, Robert Preston, and Anne Bancroft. The film is set during the American Civil War at an isolated army base at the far reaches of the American frontier, where the Indians still far outnumber the whites.

The Last Frontier was filmed in Technicolor and CinemaScope. On television, it has been shown retitled as Savage Wilderness.


Trapper Jed Cooper (Victor Mature) and his two best friends Gus (James Whitmore) and Mungo (Pat Hogan) are relieved of their possessions by some unfriendly Indians, so they seek shelter at a nearby army fort, commanded by Captain Riordan (Guy Madison). The captain recruits the three men as scouts. Also at the fort is Corrina Marston (Anne Bancroft), waiting for her missing husband, Colonel Frank Marston (Robert Preston).

Jed quickly falls in love with Mrs. Marston, sensing her ambivalence about her husband; when the colonel returns, he is revealed to be an unmitigated tyrant. Colonel Marston is driven to redeem himself after a disastrous battle at Shiloh, where over a thousand of his men were killed unnecessarily. Marston wants to attack the regional Indian chief, Red Cloud, believing this will restore his good name and return him to the battle back east. He ignores the fact that most of the men at the fort are raw recruits, hopelessly outnumbered and completely unprepared for the vicious fighting they will face with the Indians. Jed is faced with the decision of letting Marston go on with his mad scheme, or finding a way to do away with him.



The film was originally known as The Gilded Rooster, the title of the 1947 novel on which the script was based.[2] Film rights were acquired by Columbia in 1953.[3] Marlon Brando was sought for the title role.[4] The role was eventually given to Victor Mature who had just signed a two-picture deal with Columbia.[5]

Filming was to have started in January 1955 but this was pushed back, in part so Mature could make Violent Saturday.[6] Production began 21 March 1955 on location in Mexico.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  2. ^ The Indian Sign: THE GILDED ROOSTER. By Richard Emery Roberts. 249 pp. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. $2.75. Borland, Hal. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 08 June 1947: BR16.
  3. ^ FILM WRITERS VOTE CHANGE ON CREDITS: Producers Get Right to Deny Listing to Communists or Those Silent on Charge By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 24 Apr 1953: 30.
  4. ^ 'Gilded Rooster' Crows for Brando; Guinness to Probe 'Life' in Paris Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 12 July 1954: B7
  5. ^ Victor Mature Signs Deal for 2 Films at $200,000 Each Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 06 Nov 1954: 16.
  6. ^ SPIEGEL ACQUIRES BOOK FILM RIGHTS: Producer Hopes to Get John Ford to Direct 'The Bridge Over the River Kwai' By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 20 Nov 1954: 10
  7. ^ 3 WOLFE NOVELS WILL BE FILMED: Paul Gregory Company Gets Rights for $300,000--To Produce Stage Version By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 10 Mar 1955: 32.

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