by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Battle at Apache Pass (1952)

Jack   C

IMDB    6.2

Tribe(s) : Apache

Language : English / Apache



   Based on a true incident, Jeff Chandler reprises his role from Broken Arrow as Cochise and Jay Silverheels of Tonto fame, takes on the role of Geronimo in this film.
   Set during the Civil War this is a movie of the "good Indian", Cochise, who wants to be friends with the white man and Geronimo, the "bad Indian", who wants to fight him.
   When Neil Baylor comes out as an advisor to Major Jim Colton, most of his advice has to do with how they could get rid of the Apaches and make their land available for white men.
   The language is awkward and distracting. "The whites eyes should be killed", "This white flag is big medicine" and "Hear me soldiers of the white eyes" are typical of the kind of language used in the movie.
   When Baylor leads a troop out he hangs Cochise's brother Little Elk and some other relatives. Cochise then puts on the war paint and joins Geronimo.
   The Apaches have the troops pinned down at Apache Pass. When Cochise's wife, Nona (played by a very non-Indian looking Susan Cabot) gets wounded, Cochise decides, right in the middle of the battle, to bring her to the white medicine man under a white flag. Geronimo then takes control of the Apaches and continues the attack. Cochise then goes back and defeats Geronimo in a knife fight because he broke the white flag.
   This movie really isn't too good. It uses the convention of the good/bad Indian and good/bad white man. The movie is trying to say that if only everyone was good things would have turned out differently. A simplistic look at a very complex situation.