Arrowhead


1h 45m 1953

Brief Synopsis

An Army scout and an Indian chief resolve their differences in single combat.

Film Details

Also Known As
Adobe Walls
Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Aug 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Bracketville--Fort Clark, Texas, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Adobe Walls by W. R. Burnett (New York, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,473ft (11 reels)

Synopsis

In 1878, Ed Bannon, a civilian scout for Fort Clark, a U.S. Cavalry post in the heart of Texas Apache country, spoils the government's attempt at a peaceful reconciliation with the Indians when he and his pal, Sandy Mackinnon, kill three Chiracahua Apache go-betweens. Bannon warns Col. Weybright that Chief Chattez' agreement to move Apaches onto a Florida reservation is a dangerous Indian ploy and insists that Indians are not to be trusted. Having lived among the Apaches as a boy, Bannon claims to know the way Indians think, and when he learns that Chief Chattez' son Toriano will be arriving from the East Coast, he suspects a trick. Weybright fires Bannon and, soon after, is mortally wounded in an Apache ambush. Bannon returns to the post to resume his romance with widow Lela Wilson, but Lela, who is now being courted by Capt. North, rejects his advances. Sgt. Stone and other cavalrymen blame Bannon for creating trouble with the Indians and try to force him out of the post, but Bannon refuses to leave. Having been rejected by Lela, Bannon courts Nita, the half-Mexican, half-Apache laundress at the post. Toriano arrives at the post just as the Indians are being given identification tags and placed in a holding area. Bannon's suspicions about the Apaches prove justified when Toriano leads a group of rebellious Indians in a late-night raid of the post. The next day, Bannon and Sandy kill Nita's brother Spanish, who has shown his loyalty to Toriano. Bannon, in an impassioned speech to the cavalry officers, again warns of the dangers of believing that peace with the Indians can be attained. Later that night, Bannon catches Nita as she attempts to kill him, and accuses her of being a spy for Toriano. When Bannon orders Nita's imprisonment, she grabs his knife and kills herself. Toriano, meanwhile, has led the army into a trap, and the Apaches ambush North and his men on their way to negotiate a peace settlement with the Indians. A bloody gun battle ensues, during which half the men in North's command are killed. Realizing that Bannon has been right about the Apaches all along, North relinquishes his authority and lets Bannon lead an attack on Toriano. Bannon uses his knowledge of Indian fighting tactics to give the army the upper hand in the battle, and the Indians are defeated. Toriano is killed by Bannon in a hand-to-hand fight, and with his death, the Apaches denounce Toriano and his ways, and vow to seek peace with the whites.

Film Details

Also Known As
Adobe Walls
Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Aug 1953
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Bracketville--Fort Clark, Texas, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Adobe Walls by W. R. Burnett (New York, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,473ft (11 reels)

Articles

TCM Remembers - Katy Jurado


KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002

Katy Jurado, an Oscar nominee and major actress in Westerns, died July 5th at the age of 78. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on January 16th 1924 as Maria Cristina Estella Marcela Jurado Garcia, daughter of a cattle rancher and an opera singer. Jurado started to appear in Mexican films in 1943. After 15 films in her native country, director Budd Boetticher saw Jurado attending a bullfight (Jurado wrote about the subject for Mexican newspapers) and cast her in his Bullfighter and the Lady (1952), her Hollywood debut. For much of her career Jurado alternated between the two film industries. In the US, she was memorable for the sensual energy she brought to roles in High Noon (1952), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) which was directed by Marlon Brando, Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Broken Lance (1954). Jurado's Mexican films were in a broader range of genres and included Luis Bunuel's El Bruto (1952), Ismael Rodriguez's We the Poor and Miguel Littin's The Widow Montiel (1979). She won three Ariel Awards (Mexican equivalent to the Oscars) and one special award. She was married to Ernest Borgnine from the end of 1959 to summer 1963. One of her final films was The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a contemporary Western directed by Stephen Frears and co-starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz.

by Lang Thompson

DOLORES GRAY, 1924 - 2002

Broadway and nightclub star Dolores Gray died June 26th at the age of 78. Her movie career was brief but consisted of high-profile MGM musicals which guaranteed her a place in film history. Gray was born in Chicago on June 7th, 1924 (and where, according to a common story, she was accidentally shot by a gangster as a child and had a bullet in her lung her entire life). As a teenager she began singing in California until Rudy Vallee featured her on his radio show. Gray moved to Broadway in 1944 and then to the London stage in 1947, solidifying her reputation as a singer/actress while constantly giving the gossip columnists plenty to write about. She had two small singing roles in Lady for a Night (1941) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) but didn't really light up the big screen until It's Always Fair Weather (1955) even though Gray reportedly didn't much care for the role. Her rendition of "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks," which has her gunning down a slew of male dancers on-stage and kicking them through trap doors, is a genuine showstopper. Three more unforgettable musical roles quickly followed: Kismet (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956, which Gray turned down Funny Face to do) and Designing Women (1957). That was it for Gray's film career. She kept busy with TV appearances (mostly singing though she did one 1988 episode of the cult show Dr. Who) and a busy recording and nightclub schedule. In 1987, she appeared in a British production of Follies at Stephen Sondheim's request.

by Lang Thompson

ROD STEIGER, 1925 - 2002

From the docks of New York to the rural back roads of Mississippi to the war torn Russian steppes, Rod Steiger reveled in creating some of the most overpowering and difficult men on the screen. He could be a total scoundrel, embodying Machiavelli's idiom that "it's better to be feared than loved" in the movies. But as an actor he refused to be typecast and his wide range included characters who were secretly tormented (The Pawnbroker, 1965) or loners (Run of the Arrow, 1965) or eccentrics (The Loved One, 1965).

Along with Marlon Brando, Steiger helped bring the 'Method School' from the Group Theater and Actors Studio in New York to the screens of Hollywood. The Method technique, taught by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, insisted on complete immersion into the character's psyche and resulted in intense, dramatic performances and performers. Steiger made his first significant screen appearance as Brando's older brother in On the Waterfront (1954). Their climatic scene together in a taxicab is one of the great moments in American cinema.

It was a short leap from playing a crooked lawyer in On the Waterfront to playing the shady boxing promoter in The Harder They Fall (1956). Based on the tragic tale of true-life fighter Primo Carnera, The Harder They Fall details the corruption behind the scenes of professional boxing bouts. Steiger is a fight manager named Nick Benko who enlists newspaperman Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart in his final screen appearance) to drum up publicity for a fixed prizefight. While the boxing scenes were often brutally realistic, the most powerful dramatic moments took place between Steiger and Bogart on the sidelines.

As mob boss Al Capone (1959), Steiger got to play another man you loved to hate. He vividly depicted the criminal from his swaggering early days to his pathetic demise from syphilis. In Doctor Zhivago (1965), Steiger was the only American in the international cast, playing the hateful and perverse Komarovsky. During the production of Dr. Zhivago, Steiger often found himself at odds with director David Lean. Schooled in the British tradition, Lean valued the integrity of the script and demanded that actors remain faithful to the script. Steiger, on the other hand, relied on improvisation and spontaneity. When kissing the lovely Lara (played by Julie Christie), Steiger jammed his tongue into Christie's mouth to produce the desired reaction - disgust. It worked! While it might not have been Lean's approach, it brought a grittier edge to the prestige production and made Komarovsky is a detestable but truly memorable figure.

Steiger dared audiences to dislike him. As the smalltown southern Sheriff Gillespie in In The Heat of the Night (1967), Steiger embodied all the prejudices and suspicions of a racist. When a black northern lawyer, played by Sidney Poitier, arrives on the crime scene, Gillespie is forced to recognize his fellow man as an equal despite skin color. Here, Steiger's character started as a bigot and developed into a better man. He finally claimed a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Sheriff Gillespie.

Steiger was an actor's actor. A chameleon who didn't think twice about diving into challenging roles that others would shy away from. In the Private Screenings interview he did with host Robert Osborne he admitted that Paul Muni was one of his idols because of his total immersion into his roles. Steiger said, "I believe actors are supposed to create different human beings." And Steiger showed us a rich and diverse cross section of them.

by Jeremy Geltzer & Jeff Stafford

Tcm Remembers - Katy Jurado

TCM Remembers - Katy Jurado

KATY JURADO, 1924 - 2002 Katy Jurado, an Oscar nominee and major actress in Westerns, died July 5th at the age of 78. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on January 16th 1924 as Maria Cristina Estella Marcela Jurado Garcia, daughter of a cattle rancher and an opera singer. Jurado started to appear in Mexican films in 1943. After 15 films in her native country, director Budd Boetticher saw Jurado attending a bullfight (Jurado wrote about the subject for Mexican newspapers) and cast her in his Bullfighter and the Lady (1952), her Hollywood debut. For much of her career Jurado alternated between the two film industries. In the US, she was memorable for the sensual energy she brought to roles in High Noon (1952), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) which was directed by Marlon Brando, Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) and John Huston's Under the Volcano (1984). She was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for Broken Lance (1954). Jurado's Mexican films were in a broader range of genres and included Luis Bunuel's El Bruto (1952), Ismael Rodriguez's We the Poor and Miguel Littin's The Widow Montiel (1979). She won three Ariel Awards (Mexican equivalent to the Oscars) and one special award. She was married to Ernest Borgnine from the end of 1959 to summer 1963. One of her final films was The Hi-Lo Country (1998), a contemporary Western directed by Stephen Frears and co-starring Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup and Penelope Cruz. by Lang Thompson DOLORES GRAY, 1924 - 2002 Broadway and nightclub star Dolores Gray died June 26th at the age of 78. Her movie career was brief but consisted of high-profile MGM musicals which guaranteed her a place in film history. Gray was born in Chicago on June 7th, 1924 (and where, according to a common story, she was accidentally shot by a gangster as a child and had a bullet in her lung her entire life). As a teenager she began singing in California until Rudy Vallee featured her on his radio show. Gray moved to Broadway in 1944 and then to the London stage in 1947, solidifying her reputation as a singer/actress while constantly giving the gossip columnists plenty to write about. She had two small singing roles in Lady for a Night (1941) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) but didn't really light up the big screen until It's Always Fair Weather (1955) even though Gray reportedly didn't much care for the role. Her rendition of "Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks," which has her gunning down a slew of male dancers on-stage and kicking them through trap doors, is a genuine showstopper. Three more unforgettable musical roles quickly followed: Kismet (1955), The Opposite Sex (1956, which Gray turned down Funny Face to do) and Designing Women (1957). That was it for Gray's film career. She kept busy with TV appearances (mostly singing though she did one 1988 episode of the cult show Dr. Who) and a busy recording and nightclub schedule. In 1987, she appeared in a British production of Follies at Stephen Sondheim's request. by Lang Thompson ROD STEIGER, 1925 - 2002 From the docks of New York to the rural back roads of Mississippi to the war torn Russian steppes, Rod Steiger reveled in creating some of the most overpowering and difficult men on the screen. He could be a total scoundrel, embodying Machiavelli's idiom that "it's better to be feared than loved" in the movies. But as an actor he refused to be typecast and his wide range included characters who were secretly tormented (The Pawnbroker, 1965) or loners (Run of the Arrow, 1965) or eccentrics (The Loved One, 1965). Along with Marlon Brando, Steiger helped bring the 'Method School' from the Group Theater and Actors Studio in New York to the screens of Hollywood. The Method technique, taught by Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg, insisted on complete immersion into the character's psyche and resulted in intense, dramatic performances and performers. Steiger made his first significant screen appearance as Brando's older brother in On the Waterfront (1954). Their climatic scene together in a taxicab is one of the great moments in American cinema. It was a short leap from playing a crooked lawyer in On the Waterfront to playing the shady boxing promoter in The Harder They Fall (1956). Based on the tragic tale of true-life fighter Primo Carnera, The Harder They Fall details the corruption behind the scenes of professional boxing bouts. Steiger is a fight manager named Nick Benko who enlists newspaperman Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart in his final screen appearance) to drum up publicity for a fixed prizefight. While the boxing scenes were often brutally realistic, the most powerful dramatic moments took place between Steiger and Bogart on the sidelines. As mob boss Al Capone (1959), Steiger got to play another man you loved to hate. He vividly depicted the criminal from his swaggering early days to his pathetic demise from syphilis. In Doctor Zhivago (1965), Steiger was the only American in the international cast, playing the hateful and perverse Komarovsky. During the production of Dr. Zhivago, Steiger often found himself at odds with director David Lean. Schooled in the British tradition, Lean valued the integrity of the script and demanded that actors remain faithful to the script. Steiger, on the other hand, relied on improvisation and spontaneity. When kissing the lovely Lara (played by Julie Christie), Steiger jammed his tongue into Christie's mouth to produce the desired reaction - disgust. It worked! While it might not have been Lean's approach, it brought a grittier edge to the prestige production and made Komarovsky is a detestable but truly memorable figure. Steiger dared audiences to dislike him. As the smalltown southern Sheriff Gillespie in In The Heat of the Night (1967), Steiger embodied all the prejudices and suspicions of a racist. When a black northern lawyer, played by Sidney Poitier, arrives on the crime scene, Gillespie is forced to recognize his fellow man as an equal despite skin color. Here, Steiger's character started as a bigot and developed into a better man. He finally claimed a Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Sheriff Gillespie. Steiger was an actor's actor. A chameleon who didn't think twice about diving into challenging roles that others would shy away from. In the Private Screenings interview he did with host Robert Osborne he admitted that Paul Muni was one of his idols because of his total immersion into his roles. Steiger said, "I believe actors are supposed to create different human beings." And Steiger showed us a rich and diverse cross section of them. by Jeremy Geltzer & Jeff Stafford

Quotes

It's against the law for an Indian to drink.
- Ed Bannon
I drink in Spanish.
- Nita
Which way are you going back to the post?
- Sandy MacKinnon
The way every detail goes back.
- Colonel Weybright
Pick another way, Colonel.
- Ed Bannon
These Apaches were here for peace. Do you see any paint on their faces?
- Colonel Weybright
They don't have to have paint on their faces, but they can't fight without paint. They got to have it on them somewhere.
- Ed Bannon
Pick another way back to the post anyway, Colonel
- Ed Bannon
We're at peace.
- Colonel Weybright
It's a good way to stay alive while you're at peace.
- Ed Bannon
Captain, you're a smart man. You have lots of brains. You're really intelligent. You're just kind of stupid.
- Sandy MacKinnon
You're as blind as the Colonel, if that's possible... and it's possible.
- Ed Bannon

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Adobe Walls. The opening title card contains the following excerpted letter: "To: The General of the Armies regarding the subject of: Recommendation of the Congressional Award....and in my opinion this man-in constant disregard of his personal feelings and (as Chief of Scouts) repeatedly risking his life that others might be saved-deserves to have his name rank with Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Wm. F. Cody and others whose unselfish service to this country can never be forgotten. Respectfully, George Crook, Brig. General, U.S. Army, May 7, 1886." The subject of the letter, Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts of the United States Army of the Southwest, is acknowledged in the closing credits as having provided, in part, the basis for the character of "Ed Bannon." Born in 1844, Sieber, a Civil War veteran, became chief of scouts for the U.S. Army at San Carlos Indian Reservation in 1870. Sieber participated in the hunt for Geronimo, aided by Apache trackers. He reportedly survived twenty-nine gun and arrow wounds and died in 1907.
       Closing credits also acknowledge that Arrowhead was filmed entirely on location at Fort Clark, in Bracketville, TX. An August 1951 Par News article indicates that Paramount producer Pat Dugan was originally to produce the film, and that Sy Bartlett was to write the screenplay. Bartlett's contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. In addition to Arrowhead, Al Sieber was a featured character in United Artists' 1954 film Apache , and in Mr. Horn, a 1979 CBS television mini-series, directed by Jack Starrett and starring Richard Widmark as Sieber. Actress Kathryn Grant, who acted under the name Kathryn Grandstaff in Arrowhead, made her motion picture debut in the film. The picture also marked the first onscreen billing of actor Brian Keith (1921-1997), who, according to modern sources, had appeared in several unbilled, bit parts from 1924 on.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1953

Released in United States Summer June 1953