White Comanche


1h 34m 1968
White Comanche

Brief Synopsis

Twin half-breeds clash when one sides with settlers and the other with the Indians.

Film Details

Also Known As
Comanche Blanco
Genre
Drama
Western
Release Date
1968

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m

Synopsis

Twin half-breeds clash when one sides with settlers and the other with the Indians.

Film Details

Also Known As
Comanche Blanco
Genre
Drama
Western
Release Date
1968

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m

Articles

White Comanche


Most people on the planet Earth know Canadian actor William Shatner (born in Montreal) as Captain James T. Kirk, the interplanetary commander of the Enterprise on the TV series Star Trek, and the several feature films it later inspired. His film career, however, has suffered in comparison despite a promising debut as Alexei in the 1958 film version of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. If nothing else, his choices have been eclectic - a monk (The Outrage, 1964), a high school teacher at the center of a sex education controversy (The Explosive Generation, 1961), a rabble-rousing racist in the deep South (The Intruder, 1962), and a conman in Depression-era America (Big Bad Mama, 1974), which is famous for his on-screen sex scenes with a semi-nude Angie Dickinson. Those are the more mainstream titles but what about the allegorical fantasy Incubus (1965), filmed entirely in Esperanto, the international language first created in 1887? Or his role as a ladies' man/psycho killer in Impulse (1974)? Yet none of his acting stunts can top White Comanche (1967) for sheer weirdness.

This is the mother lode for Shatner junkies. Not only does it feature the actor in a dual role - playing half-breed twins, one good, one bad - but marks Shatner's only foray into the spaghetti Western genre. White Comanche opens with a drifter named Johnny Moon (the good Shatner) barely escaping a lynching and then rescuing another unfortunate soul from a similar fate. Meanwhile, a stagecoach is attacked by Notah (the bad Shatner) and his braves who promptly kill all the passengers except for Kelly, a saloon hostess, who is subsequently chased down and gleefully raped by Notah. The two story threads come together when Johnny decides to make a temporary stopover in Rio Hondo which is under the protection of Marshall Joseph Cotten. Shortly after Johnny's arrival, a traumatized Kelly returns to give a full account of her ordeal, spots Johnny and tries to shoot him, mistaking him for his brother. Things get a lot bloodier before Johnny can prove his innocence but he eventually wins the support of Kelly and the sheriff and challenges Notah to a death duel.

In some ways, White Comanche bears some striking plot similarities to Arrowhead (1953) in which Charlton Heston and Jack Palance play Apache blood brothers whose hatred of one another ends in a race war. But any other resemblance ends there since White Comanche has tacky production values (watch the plywood sets break apart like matchsticks during the barroom brawl scene), outrageous overacting (what could be more over the top than Shatner in war paint, screaming out a Comanche battle cry as he tomahawks his enemies?) and laughable dialogue. Here's a prime example as Johnny spits out his contempt for his brother: "His liver is white like his Yankee father. His heart burns blacker than the skin of his Comanche mother. His white belly, like his name, a snake." Huh?

Everything is odd yet familiar in this crazy quilt rendering of the American West mainly because White Comanche is an Italian/Spanish production with most of the cast dubbed into English. Clearly, Shatner's drifter is modeled on Eastwood's "Man With No Name" character in manner (he can mow down five men at a time with his pistol), if not appearance, but the effect is often ludicrous. In other words, this is essentially viewing for Shatner fans who want to see another side of the actor besides Captain Kirk. For others, White Comanche offers enough jaw-dropping moments - a wildly theatrical knife fight between Notah's squaw and a Comanche warrior - to qualify as a major guilty pleasure.

Producer: Vicente Gomez
Director: Gilbert Kay
Screenplay: Manuel Gomez Rivera, Gilbert Kay, Frank Gruber (story), Robert Holt (story)
Cinematography: Francisco Fraile
Film Editing: Javier Moran, Gaby Penalba
Art Direction: Antonio Sanabria
Music: Jean Ledrut
Cast: Joseph Cotten (Sheriff Logan), William Shatner (Johnny Moon), Rosanna Yanni (Kelly), Perla Cristal (White Fawn), Mariano Vidal Molina (General Garcia), Luis Prendes (Grimes).
C-95m. Closed captioning.

by Jeff Stafford
White Comanche

White Comanche

Most people on the planet Earth know Canadian actor William Shatner (born in Montreal) as Captain James T. Kirk, the interplanetary commander of the Enterprise on the TV series Star Trek, and the several feature films it later inspired. His film career, however, has suffered in comparison despite a promising debut as Alexei in the 1958 film version of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. If nothing else, his choices have been eclectic - a monk (The Outrage, 1964), a high school teacher at the center of a sex education controversy (The Explosive Generation, 1961), a rabble-rousing racist in the deep South (The Intruder, 1962), and a conman in Depression-era America (Big Bad Mama, 1974), which is famous for his on-screen sex scenes with a semi-nude Angie Dickinson. Those are the more mainstream titles but what about the allegorical fantasy Incubus (1965), filmed entirely in Esperanto, the international language first created in 1887? Or his role as a ladies' man/psycho killer in Impulse (1974)? Yet none of his acting stunts can top White Comanche (1967) for sheer weirdness. This is the mother lode for Shatner junkies. Not only does it feature the actor in a dual role - playing half-breed twins, one good, one bad - but marks Shatner's only foray into the spaghetti Western genre. White Comanche opens with a drifter named Johnny Moon (the good Shatner) barely escaping a lynching and then rescuing another unfortunate soul from a similar fate. Meanwhile, a stagecoach is attacked by Notah (the bad Shatner) and his braves who promptly kill all the passengers except for Kelly, a saloon hostess, who is subsequently chased down and gleefully raped by Notah. The two story threads come together when Johnny decides to make a temporary stopover in Rio Hondo which is under the protection of Marshall Joseph Cotten. Shortly after Johnny's arrival, a traumatized Kelly returns to give a full account of her ordeal, spots Johnny and tries to shoot him, mistaking him for his brother. Things get a lot bloodier before Johnny can prove his innocence but he eventually wins the support of Kelly and the sheriff and challenges Notah to a death duel. In some ways, White Comanche bears some striking plot similarities to Arrowhead (1953) in which Charlton Heston and Jack Palance play Apache blood brothers whose hatred of one another ends in a race war. But any other resemblance ends there since White Comanche has tacky production values (watch the plywood sets break apart like matchsticks during the barroom brawl scene), outrageous overacting (what could be more over the top than Shatner in war paint, screaming out a Comanche battle cry as he tomahawks his enemies?) and laughable dialogue. Here's a prime example as Johnny spits out his contempt for his brother: "His liver is white like his Yankee father. His heart burns blacker than the skin of his Comanche mother. His white belly, like his name, a snake." Huh? Everything is odd yet familiar in this crazy quilt rendering of the American West mainly because White Comanche is an Italian/Spanish production with most of the cast dubbed into English. Clearly, Shatner's drifter is modeled on Eastwood's "Man With No Name" character in manner (he can mow down five men at a time with his pistol), if not appearance, but the effect is often ludicrous. In other words, this is essentially viewing for Shatner fans who want to see another side of the actor besides Captain Kirk. For others, White Comanche offers enough jaw-dropping moments - a wildly theatrical knife fight between Notah's squaw and a Comanche warrior - to qualify as a major guilty pleasure. Producer: Vicente Gomez Director: Gilbert Kay Screenplay: Manuel Gomez Rivera, Gilbert Kay, Frank Gruber (story), Robert Holt (story) Cinematography: Francisco Fraile Film Editing: Javier Moran, Gaby Penalba Art Direction: Antonio Sanabria Music: Jean Ledrut Cast: Joseph Cotten (Sheriff Logan), William Shatner (Johnny Moon), Rosanna Yanni (Kelly), Perla Cristal (White Fawn), Mariano Vidal Molina (General Garcia), Luis Prendes (Grimes). C-95m. Closed captioning. by Jeff Stafford

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