by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Geronimo (1962)

Jack   B

IMDB    5.7

Tribe(s) : Apache

Language : English


History has created heroes out of legend and out of fact. This story combines both legend and fact, in telling of one such hero, of his striving for freedom and dignity against impossible odds.

    The opening written prologue lets us know that this movie is going to try to give us a sympathetic look at the Apache leader, but then we see that the movie is starring "The Rifleman", the blue-eyed Chuck Connors.

    Set in 1880 Arizona, the movie opens with one band of Apaches left off the reservation. Geronimo's group has come to the US border from Mexico to surrender. The Calvary captain calls them a "bunch of wild and dirty animals." Geronimo brings his people in to the reservation. An Indian from Bombay, Kamala Devi, the future Mrs. Chuck Connors, plays Teeva, a native American.

   When Geronimo sees Mangus at the reservation growing corn he is disappointed. He is not ready to give up his old way of life. But, then the land has been cultivated by the Apaches is desired by some business men now want the land for grazing. When the right offer is made the Apache land is sold to developers. When Geronimo and Magus find out what has happened they try to make the Indian agent tell them the truth and they find the papers that sold their lands. The Apaches then leave the reservation.

   The army pursues the Apaches but they make it back in to Mexico and dig up their buried guns. General Crook then comes on the scene and has permission from Mexico to cross the border to chase the Apaches. In the meantime, a not so politically correct Geronimo decides to take Teeva as a wife and take her he does.

   Washington is not happy that Geronimo can't be caught. The troops eventually corner Geronimo and his people and begin shooting cannons at them. But then a Senator from Washington, representing President Cleveland, shows up and asks Geronimo to come down and talk. He sais the President feels the Apaches should be able to live in dignity with respect for their heritage.

   The happy ending really didn't work, but at least this early move showed sympathy for what the Apaches had been put through by greed and government incompetence. Overall, a decent movie.