Run of the Arrow


1h 26m 1957
Run of the Arrow

Brief Synopsis

A bitter Confederate veteran joins a Sioux tribe to keep his war against the Union going.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Sep 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 25 Jul 1957; New York opening: 2 Aug 1957
Production Company
Globe Enterprises, Inc.; RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
St. George, Utah, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1
Film Length
7,712ft

Synopsis

On 9 April 1865, the final day of the Civil War, O'Meara, an Irish American serving in the Virginia Infantry, shoots a Union officer and carries his wounded body back to the Confederate field hospital at Appomattox. While there, he watches as General Robert E. Lee, having just surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, dejectedly leaves Appomattox Courthouse. The doctor removes the bullet, the last one fired during the war, from his patient and gives it to O'Meara's friends. O'Meara returns home, where he receives the bullet as a war trophy, but is bitter nonetheless. Even his mother is unable to persuade him to accept defeat at the hands of the North, and filled with hatred, he leaves Virginia. Aware that the Sioux Indians are engaged in a war against the United States government, O'Meara guides his horse toward Sioux territory in the West. On the way he meets an old Oglala scout named Walking Coyote, who claims that he is going home to die. Amused by O'Meara's fascination with the Sioux, Walking Coyote agrees to instruct him in Sioux customs and language. As they near Walking Coyote's tribal homeland, however, the two are captured by a group of rowdy warriors. Led by Crazy Wolf, the Indians are about to execute the men when Walking Coyote requests the "run of the arrow," a ritual in which the pursuers allow the prisoners a head start in a race for their lives. Explaining that no one has ever survived a run, Walking Coyote encourages O'Meara to exert himself, but shortly after the chase begins, the older man's heart gives out and he dies. O'Meara runs until he, too, collapses in exhaustion, but a group of Sioux women hides him from his pursuers. The next day, O'Meara presents himself to the local chief, Blue Buffalo, claiming that he has survived the run of the arrow. Crazy Wolf is baffled by the white man's escape but accepts Blue Buffalo's pronouncement that no Sioux may kill one who has survived the run. Yellow Moccasin, who hid O'Meara in her tent on that first night, nurses him back to health, and the two fall in love. Blue Buffalo agrees to accept O'Meara as a full member of the Sioux nation, allowing him both to retain his Christian religion and to marry Yellow Moccasin. The couple adopts Silent Tongue, Yellow Moccasin's mute and orphaned young companion, and the family lives happily for a time. When Sioux chief Red Cloud and Cavalry general Allen agree on terms by which the U.S. government may build a stronghold named Fort Lincoln, Red Cloud asks O'Meara to accompany the builders to the approved site. During the journey, a Yankee soldier sacrifices his life to save Silent Tongue from a pool of quicksand. Moved, O'Meara listens when the leader of the expedition, Captain Clark, remarks that Lee's surrender, rather than marking the South's demise, was "the birth of the United States." The group arrives at the appointed site, but as they begin construction, Crazy Wolf and his band of renegades attack, killing Clark. Realizing that Crazy Wolf is trying to start a war, O'Meara disarms him and gives him the opportunity to run for his life. Lieutenant Driscoll, the Indian-hating Yankee whom O'Meara had shot near Appomattox, interferes in the ritual, wounding Crazy Wolf with a bullet. O'Meara takes Crazy Wolf back to Blue Buffalo, while Driscoll, now in charge of the construction party, orders his men to build the fort in a more strategic site. Yellow Moccasin returns to the village to warn Blue Buffalo that construction is occurring outside of the agreed-upon corridor, whereupon the tribe prepares for war. Under a flag of truce, O'Meara orders the builders to return to the original site or lose their scalps. Driscoll injures O'Meara and orders his men to hang him for treason. At that moment, Blue Buffalo signals a large force to attack the expedition, and in the fierce battle that follows, most of the soldiers are killed. The Indians capture Driscoll, and as Crazy Wolf is skinning him alive for having violated the run of the arrow, O'Meara, unable to endure Driscoll's screams, kills him with the same bullet he used at Appomattox. Yellow Moccasin convinces O'Meara of his own allegiance to the U.S. flag, and together they accompany the surviving soldiers back to Fort Laramie.

Videos

Movie Clip

Run Of The Arrow (1957) - Rebel Soldier Writer-producer-director Samuel Fuller supplies a balladeer (Frank Warner) with a genuine Confederate war song (using the original lyric, rather than the more polite segments usually recorded), before meeting vanquished O'Meara (Rod Steiger) and his mother (Olive Carey) in Run Of The Arrow, 1957.
Run Of The Arrow (1957) - Open, Palm Sunday The opening scene at Appomattox, 1865, as Confederate O'Meara (Rod Steiger) fires the last shot, not quite killing Yankee Ralph Meeker, leading to the credits for writer-producer-director Samuel Fuller's searing Run Of The Arrow, 1957.
Run Of The Arrow (1957) - Another Sioux Post Office Recalcitrant ex-Confederate soldier O'Meara (Rod Steiger) is learning Indian ways from Sioux trail buddy and ex-Union scout Walking Coyote (Jay C. Flippen) as they travel west, when they're intercepted by H.M. Wynant (as Crazy Wolf) and his crew, in Samuel Fuller's Run Of The Arrow, 1957.
Run Of The Arrow (1957) - I'm Not An American Irish Confederate fugitive O'Meara (Rod Steiger), having improbably survived the "Run Of The Arrow" Sioux ritual, is given shelter by Yellow Moccasin (Sarita Montiel, her voice dubbed by Angie Dickinson), then presents himself to chief Blue Buffalo (Charles Bronson), who has sophisticated views on justice, in Samuel Fuller's Run Of The Arrow, 1957.
Run Of The Arrow (1957) - This God Of Yours Irish Catholic-born fugitive Confederate veteran O'Meara (Rod Steiger) has come just about around to Sioux ways, Blue Buffalo (Charles Bronson) approving his proposal and marrying him to Yellow Moccasin (Sarita Montiel) in Samuel Fuller's Run Of The Arrow, 1957.

Trailer

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Sep 1957
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 25 Jul 1957; New York opening: 2 Aug 1957
Production Company
Globe Enterprises, Inc.; RKO Teleradio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
St. George, Utah, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1
Film Length
7,712ft

Articles

Run of the Arrow


A revisionist Western that makes complex statements about the nature of race, identity, and loyalty, Run of the Arrow (1957) is a key film in the oeuvre of renegade director Samuel Fuller. Though Fuller was often criticized for lacking a social conscience - his taste for lurid pulp fiction usually excluded it - this picture paints as open-minded an image of the American Indian as you're likely to find in 1950s cinema. The main character, played by Rod Steiger, actually sides with the Indians for the better part of the film, a stance that runs decidedly counter to what John Wayne and his ilk had been doing for the previous 20 years.

Steiger plays Pvt. O'Meara, a Confederate soldier who fires what turns out to be the final shot of the Civil War. A Union lieutenant named Driscoll (Ralph Meeker) is on the receiving end of the bullet, but he recovers from his wound. Unwilling to accept the "death" of his beloved South once the peace treaty is signed at Appomattox, O'Meara heads West. There, after establishing his worthiness through an endurance test known as "the run of the arrow," he joins a Sioux Indian tribe. Eventually, he falls in love with a beautiful maiden named Yellow Moccasin, played by Sarita Montiel, whose voice was dubbed by RKO contract player Angie Dickinson!

Tension mounts when the U.S. Army, lead by Lt. Driscoll, builds Fort Abraham Lincoln just beyond the edge of a hallowed Sioux hunting ground. When a popular captain (Brian Keith) is killed by an enraged Sioux warrior (H.M. Wynant), Driscoll uses that as an excuse to attack the Indians. This leads to a failed peace-keeping attempt by O'Meara, and an exceptionally bloody battle in and around the fort. The ambiguous finale suggests that O'Meara is finally done with his personal Civil War, but remains torn between the Sioux and the world he left behind.

Steiger never met a piece of scenery he couldn't chew, but he's actually well-suited to Fuller's bulldozing method. Though he seldom enjoyed the luxury of a big budget, Fuller pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished by commercial filmmakers, with a blunt primitivism that was championed by the French New Wave critics of the 1960s, and ultimately influenced such directors as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. The often hysterical melodrama of Fuller's scripts can overshadow just how brilliantly he employs his camera. Run of the Arrow is as fluidly and economically shot as any of his films.

In Sam Fuller: Film is a Battleground by Lee Server, the director recalled the sequence toward the beginning of Run of the Arrow where Steiger says goodbye to his mother: "The Confederate in that scene who sang the song against the Constitution was played by a Southerner, whose hobby was collecting folklore and ballads. He loved it, being a Southerner and against the damn Yankees. My art director on the picture was a very virulent Yankee. I'm only telling you this because there's an evil streak in me that I like. I thought it would be wonderful to get them together in my office. I'll never forget it; it was the most wonderful moment of my life to introduce these two men who despised each other. They immediately got into a tremendous argument. I heard the whole Civil War fought all over again in my office." Fuller also commented on the famous "run of the arrow" sequence: "I shot that scene without my star. Steiger sprained his ankle right before we shot it, and he was taken off to the hospital. I used a young Indian in his place. Nobody noticed it. They thought I was being highly creative, highly artistic: "Imagine! Almost a boy wonder, a genius! Sensational! The way he shot it by just showing the feet!" Well, I would have shot about eighty per cent of the scene with just feet anyway, because that's the whole idea of the Run. But occasionally I would have liked to whip up with the camera and show Steiger's face."

Movie buffs will note the similarities between Run of the Arrow and Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning epic, Dances with Wolves (1990). Both films feature disheartened lead characters who journey West at the end of the Civil War, only to find new strength in the culture and teachings of the Sioux Indians. In due course, both men are forced to test their new-found beliefs when other war veterans arrive on Sioux land, guns at the ready. Fuller, however, is somewhat more inclined to let bullets and tomahawks do the talking than Costner is. After all, he was making B-pictures, not sensitivity training films.

Though supporting actor Tim McCoy was an Indian agent who started his film career as a technical advisor on silent Westerns, it seems unlikely that he did much advising on Run of the Arrow. The Sioux, for instance, would never kiss on the lips as shown in the movie. And, though Fuller suggests they're ready to skin a person alive at one point, they were never proponents of torture. There's certainly overstatement in the finished product, but Fuller refused to pull punches at a time when his much more honored peers were busy minding their manners. His white-hot passions permeate Run of the Arrow, making it one of the more fascinating entries in a truly American body of work.

Producer/Director: Samuel Fuller
Screenplay: Samuel Fuller
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino, Jack Okey
Cinematography: Joseph Biroc
Film Editing: Gene Fowler, Jr.
Original Music: Victor Young
Cast: Rod Steiger (O'Meara), Sarita Montiel (Yellow Moccasin), Brian Keith (Capt. Clark), Ralph Meeker (Lt. Driscoll), Jay C. Flippen (Walking Coyote), Charles Bronson (Blue Buffalo), Olive Carey (Mrs. O'Meara), H. M. Wynant (Crazy Wolf), Frank DeKova (Red Cloud).
C-86m. Letterboxed.

By Paul Tatara
Run Of The Arrow

Run of the Arrow

A revisionist Western that makes complex statements about the nature of race, identity, and loyalty, Run of the Arrow (1957) is a key film in the oeuvre of renegade director Samuel Fuller. Though Fuller was often criticized for lacking a social conscience - his taste for lurid pulp fiction usually excluded it - this picture paints as open-minded an image of the American Indian as you're likely to find in 1950s cinema. The main character, played by Rod Steiger, actually sides with the Indians for the better part of the film, a stance that runs decidedly counter to what John Wayne and his ilk had been doing for the previous 20 years. Steiger plays Pvt. O'Meara, a Confederate soldier who fires what turns out to be the final shot of the Civil War. A Union lieutenant named Driscoll (Ralph Meeker) is on the receiving end of the bullet, but he recovers from his wound. Unwilling to accept the "death" of his beloved South once the peace treaty is signed at Appomattox, O'Meara heads West. There, after establishing his worthiness through an endurance test known as "the run of the arrow," he joins a Sioux Indian tribe. Eventually, he falls in love with a beautiful maiden named Yellow Moccasin, played by Sarita Montiel, whose voice was dubbed by RKO contract player Angie Dickinson! Tension mounts when the U.S. Army, lead by Lt. Driscoll, builds Fort Abraham Lincoln just beyond the edge of a hallowed Sioux hunting ground. When a popular captain (Brian Keith) is killed by an enraged Sioux warrior (H.M. Wynant), Driscoll uses that as an excuse to attack the Indians. This leads to a failed peace-keeping attempt by O'Meara, and an exceptionally bloody battle in and around the fort. The ambiguous finale suggests that O'Meara is finally done with his personal Civil War, but remains torn between the Sioux and the world he left behind. Steiger never met a piece of scenery he couldn't chew, but he's actually well-suited to Fuller's bulldozing method. Though he seldom enjoyed the luxury of a big budget, Fuller pushed the boundaries of what could be accomplished by commercial filmmakers, with a blunt primitivism that was championed by the French New Wave critics of the 1960s, and ultimately influenced such directors as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. The often hysterical melodrama of Fuller's scripts can overshadow just how brilliantly he employs his camera. Run of the Arrow is as fluidly and economically shot as any of his films. In Sam Fuller: Film is a Battleground by Lee Server, the director recalled the sequence toward the beginning of Run of the Arrow where Steiger says goodbye to his mother: "The Confederate in that scene who sang the song against the Constitution was played by a Southerner, whose hobby was collecting folklore and ballads. He loved it, being a Southerner and against the damn Yankees. My art director on the picture was a very virulent Yankee. I'm only telling you this because there's an evil streak in me that I like. I thought it would be wonderful to get them together in my office. I'll never forget it; it was the most wonderful moment of my life to introduce these two men who despised each other. They immediately got into a tremendous argument. I heard the whole Civil War fought all over again in my office." Fuller also commented on the famous "run of the arrow" sequence: "I shot that scene without my star. Steiger sprained his ankle right before we shot it, and he was taken off to the hospital. I used a young Indian in his place. Nobody noticed it. They thought I was being highly creative, highly artistic: "Imagine! Almost a boy wonder, a genius! Sensational! The way he shot it by just showing the feet!" Well, I would have shot about eighty per cent of the scene with just feet anyway, because that's the whole idea of the Run. But occasionally I would have liked to whip up with the camera and show Steiger's face." Movie buffs will note the similarities between Run of the Arrow and Kevin Costner's Oscar-winning epic, Dances with Wolves (1990). Both films feature disheartened lead characters who journey West at the end of the Civil War, only to find new strength in the culture and teachings of the Sioux Indians. In due course, both men are forced to test their new-found beliefs when other war veterans arrive on Sioux land, guns at the ready. Fuller, however, is somewhat more inclined to let bullets and tomahawks do the talking than Costner is. After all, he was making B-pictures, not sensitivity training films. Though supporting actor Tim McCoy was an Indian agent who started his film career as a technical advisor on silent Westerns, it seems unlikely that he did much advising on Run of the Arrow. The Sioux, for instance, would never kiss on the lips as shown in the movie. And, though Fuller suggests they're ready to skin a person alive at one point, they were never proponents of torture. There's certainly overstatement in the finished product, but Fuller refused to pull punches at a time when his much more honored peers were busy minding their manners. His white-hot passions permeate Run of the Arrow, making it one of the more fascinating entries in a truly American body of work. Producer/Director: Samuel Fuller Screenplay: Samuel Fuller Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino, Jack Okey Cinematography: Joseph Biroc Film Editing: Gene Fowler, Jr. Original Music: Victor Young Cast: Rod Steiger (O'Meara), Sarita Montiel (Yellow Moccasin), Brian Keith (Capt. Clark), Ralph Meeker (Lt. Driscoll), Jay C. Flippen (Walking Coyote), Charles Bronson (Blue Buffalo), Olive Carey (Mrs. O'Meara), H. M. Wynant (Crazy Wolf), Frank DeKova (Red Cloud). C-86m. Letterboxed. By Paul Tatara

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.


Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute.

After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland.

TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place:

8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960)
10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963)
1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967)
4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976)

Charles Bronson, 1921-2003

Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81.

He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him.

Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954).

Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West.

These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977).

Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.

Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute. After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland. TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place: 8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960) 10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963) 1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967) 4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976) Charles Bronson, 1921-2003 Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81. He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him. Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954). Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West. These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977). Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

I coulda been a chief.
- Walking Coyote
Oh yeah? How come you're not a chief now?
- O'Meara
Eh, I got no stomach for politics.
- Walking Coyote

Trivia

Notes

Samuel Fuller's onscreen credit reads: "Written, produced-directed by Samuel Fuller." The film includes the following written prologue: "Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, Appomattox, Virginia. The last day of the war between the states." It closes with the following statement: "The end of this story can only be written by you." According to production notes contained in the production file for the film in the AMPAS Library, the military outpost set was built in the desert outside of St. George, UT. The set was completely razed by fire during the Indian attack sequence. The production files add that 150 Navajo Indians were brought from Arizona to work as extras on the production. According to publicity materials, Fuller studied a copy of the Handbook of American Indians, borrowed from the Smithsonian Institute, in order to "present an honest, realistic picture of Indian life."
       Frank M. Warner, a leading interpreter of American folk music, made his screen debut in the film, as did actor H. M. Wynant. Modern sources note that Angie Dickinson dubbed the voice of Sarita Montiel. This production was completed at the time of RKO Radio Pictures demise as a producing and releasing organization, and consequently, the domestic distribution of the film was taken over by Universal-International. Although a January 23, 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item reports that a song called "The Purple Hills," with music by Victor Young and lyrics by Milton Berle and Buddy Arnold, had been written for Run of the Arrow, the song was not heard in the viewed print.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1998

Released in United States Fall September 1957

Released in United States July 1991

Shown at Avignon/New York Film Festival (Fuller Tribute) in New York City (French Institute) April 24 - May 3, 1998.

Released in United States 1998 (Shown at Avignon/New York Film Festival (Fuller Tribute) in New York City (French Institute) April 24 - May 3, 1998.)

Released in United States July 1991 (Shown in New York City (Film Forum: Sam Fuller Retrospective) July 26 & 27, 1991.)

Released in United States Fall September 1957