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A government agent tries to treat the Apaches with respect.
In the 1870s, John Philip Clum, an Indian agent, arrives in Tucson to take up his new job as adviser to the San Carlos Apache reservation and meets with his superiors, Governor Safford and General Wade. Clum's humanist tendencies disturb the belligerent Wade, who believes that the only way to deal with the Indians is through military might. In response, Clum states that the Department of the Interior currently believes it has a duty to protect the Indian bands that have surrendered and will no longer seek to wipe them out. When Clum arrives at the reservation and sees a group of Apache men being brought back from the work fields in chains, he demands that Captain Larsen, head of the San Carlos cavalry, unchain them. Larsen is angry, but complies, and later, Tianay, an Indian woman in mourning for her husband, thanks Clum for his act of kindness. Later, when Clum hears some braves making war cries, he approaches the men and a scuffle ensues. Chief Eskiminzin arrives and scolds his braves for fighting with the man who set their chief free, and instead of allowing the cavalry to punish them, Clum instructs the chief to punish the braves as he sees fit. Acting on orders from President Ulysses S. Grant, Clum tells Larsen to leave San Carlos, and then instructs the Apaches to set up their own police and judicial system. After the chief chooses Taglito, Alchise and Chato as the new keepers of the peace, Clum returns to his cabin to find that Tianay has moved in with her young son Tono. Clum tells her that he is already engaged to another, but she begs him not to send her back as it will disgrace her in the eyes of the chief. Meanwhile, when food supplies do not arrive from Tucson, Clum agrees to procure guns for the Indians so that they can hunt. Later, the Apache police force bring in two scoundrels, whom Clum had earlier met in Tucson hawking Apache scalps. Clum takes the men into Tucson to be jailed for poaching, but while having a drink with Tom Sweeny, a former Army man from San Carlos, the scoundrels, having been released, show up and a brawl ensues. Afterward, Clum finally succeeds in convincing Sweeny to take a job training the Apache police force. Back at the reservation, Taglito tells Tianay that he wants to marry her and is jealous of Clum. When Taglito's brother decides to shoot at Clum with his newly acquired rifle, however, Taglito shoots him dead, and later, the chief tells Clum that Taglito wishes to make him his blood brother. Tianay tries to convince Clum to have more than one wife, and when Clum, who is weakening, receives a letter from Mary Dennison, his fiancée, he decides that they will marry upon her arrival. Clum invites the governor, the general and other officials to the wedding ceremony, but no one shows up, except Sweeny's Apache police force, who give a gun salute, much to the governor's chagrin. Despite this gaffe, Clum persuades the governor to attend an Apache dance performance that night, as an act of cultural exchange, and the governor agrees, eventually warming to Clum's ways. During the dance, Clum introduces Mary to Tianay and Tono, and Mary is shocked when she discovers that Tianay has been living with her husband. Just then, infamous Apache renegade Geronimo arrives at San Carlos and calls on Taglito and another brave, Santos, to join him. Clum offers the braves the freedom to go, but they decline. Clum then tells Geronimo that he can stay on the reservation, if he follows the rules, and the renegade departs to think about the proposal. Later, Mary tells Tianay to leave the couple's cabin, and Clum scolds her for not being sensitive to the Apache's ways. Tono is sad that Clum will not be his father and convinces a young friend, Pica, to go with him into the wilderness to find Geronimo. Later, Mary encourages her husband to search for the boy, and Tianay and Clum eventually find the children asleep in some bushes. The four then witness Geronimo attacking a wagon train, and the Cavalry rides in. Back at San Carlos, Taglito wants to take the rifles and join Geronimo, but Clum says that they will have to kill him first. Clum announces that he will talk to Geronimo, and after a terrified Mary tries to stop him, Clum, Sweeny and the Apache police head for the wilderness. Clum says that he will deal with Geronimo in the same way that the Bible's Gideon fought his enemy: They will trick Geronimo into thinking that they have more forces than they do by shooting rifles into the air. Geronimo laughs when he hears from his scout that Clum is approaching with only twenty men, but after Clum fails to convince Geronimo to surrender, the remaining men shoot their rifles and the echo scares Geronimo's men, who flee. Clum brings in Geronimo and his men in chains, while the Cavalry returns to San Carlos. When Wade proclaims that he is now in control, Clum quits his job in disgust and disappointment. Taglito and the chief, however, convince Clum not to run away, but to stay and continue to fight for their rights. Even Mary encourages him to carry on his good works. Tono, having given up Geronimo as his hero, wields his toy gun, calling, "I am Mister, I capture my enemies."
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||World premiere in Hudson, NY: 1 Aug 1956; New York opening: 5 Sep 1956|
|Release Date:||1956||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Universal Pictures Co., Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.|
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