|Directed by||George Sherman|
|Produced by||John W. Rogers|
|Written by||John Michael Hayes|
|Cinematography||William H. Daniels|
|Edited by||Frank Gross|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$1.4 million|
War Arrow is a 1954 American Technicolor Western film directed by George Sherman based on the Seminole Scouts starring Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Chandler. Filmed by Universal Pictures, the film was shot in Agoura, California.
Major Howell Brady (Jeff Chandler), a cavalry officer, is sent from Washington D.C. to Fort Clark, Texas, to subdue a Kiowa uprising that has been raiding both white settlements and villages on Seminole reservations. Brady requests that the post commander Colonel Meade (John McIntire) send his troops out in fast moving small units to engage the Kiowa but the Colonel fears his men would be slaughtered in piecemeal actions and only feels the Kiowa are impressed by large numbers of troops.
Together with his two sergeants, Brady enlists the help of the Seminole chief, Maygro (Henry Brandon}, by giving him $500 and promising his people food and land. The three of them arm 25 Seminoles with state of the art Henry repeating rifles and train them as counter guerillas; luring the Kiowa in then ambushing them. Col. Meade and his officers resent Brady’s interference and mistrust the Seminoles.
At Fort Clark, Brady meets and falls in love with Elaine Corwin (Maureen O'Hara), the widow of a cavalry officer. However, when "Brady's Bunch" of Seminoles successfully repel a Kiowa attack, Brady spots a white man with the Kiowa. Although he does not get a good look at him, he recovers his sabre. The engraved sabre turns out to belong to Captain R. G. Corwin, the supposedly deceased husband of Elaine. The Seminoles confirm Corwin is still alive through torturing a Kiowa prisoner.
Meanwhile, Meade fails to deliver promised food to the Seminole so Maygro leads his people from the fort. Brady steals the food from the fort and delivers it himself to Maygro, for which Meade jails Brady. Brady is freed by Elaine and some of the Seminoles.
Brady discovers the Kiowa are preparing to attack the fort that is defended by only 20 men due to Meade's forces being away pursuing the elusive Kiowa. He returns to warn Meade, but he ignores him. He is about to throw Brady back in jail when a cavalry patrol returns with the same news that the Kiowa are preparing to attack. A fierce battle ensues and the Kiowa are defeated. Amongst the dead is the traitor R. G. Corwin, whom it turns out has been collaborating with a group of Mexicans to incite war.
- Maureen O'Hara as Elaine Corwin
- Jeff Chandler as Maj. Howell Brady
- John McIntire as Col. Jackson Meade
- Suzan Ball as Avis
- Noah Beery, Jr. as Sgt. Augustus Wilks (as Noah Beery)
- Charles Drake as 1st Sgt. Luke Schermerhom
- Henry Brandon as Chief Maygro
- Dennis Weaver as Pino
- Jay Silverheels as Santanta
- Jim Bannon as Capt. Roger G. Corwin (as James Bannon)
- Stephen Wyman as Captain Neil (as Steve Wyman)
- Bradford Jackson as Lieutenant (as Brad Jackson)
The film was known as Brady's Bunch. John Michael Hayes wrote the original story and there was reported interest from the studios about turning it into a vehicle for Burt Lancaster, Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power before it was bought by Universal for Jeff Chandler.
"Wars are won by initiative, not authorisation!" - Major Brady. "Don't worry, I'm a woman" - Elaine Corwin.
- p.292 Blottner, Gene Universal-International Westerns, 1947-1963: The Complete Filmography McFarland, 01/08/2000
- Jeff Chandler Will Head 'Brady's Bunch' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 05 Feb 1953: A8
- Ethel Merman Likely to Pursue Films; 'Texas' Beckoning Lancaster Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Aug 1952: B7.
- FOX TO DO 2 FILMS IN NATURAL VISION: Studio Plans 'Inferno' in Color and 'Vicki' -- Allied Artists, Metro to Use Process By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 05 Feb 1953: 19.
- CINERAMA SLATES FULL-LENGTH FILM: 'Paint Your Wagon,' With New Music and Lyrics, on Tap as First Feature in Process By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 Feb 1953: 35.