by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Grayeagle (1977)

Jack   D

IMDB    5.3

Tribe(s) : Cheyenne / Shoshone

Language : English / Broken English



  Set in 1848 Montana, this movie is by director Charles Pierce, who also did Indian B Movies Winterhawk(1975) and Sacred Ground(1983). All three of these movies had some things in common : bad score, bad acting, good actors (badly handled) and bad stories.

In this movie, the great Ben Johnson playing a trapper named John Colter, has some awful lines to say as he pursues Cheyenne warrior Greyeagle who has kidnapped his daughter for a reason that is kept hidden from us. Standing Bear (Iron Eyes) and, fellow trapper, Willis (Jack Elam) join Colter on his search for his daughter.

Grayeagle must fight a duel with a Riddler-like Shoshone, named Scar, in one of the worst fight scenes ever choreographed. The kidnapped woman saves Grayeagle from his challenger by shooting him with an arrow shot out of a gun. Grayeagle talks like an English stage actor, and the kidnapped girl, Beth Colter (played by Natalie's sister Lana Wood), talks like a dummy.

We begin to see flashbacks, filmed in a brown and white, in which we see that Standing Bear must have done something to a Running Bear and his wife to cause Grayeagle to kidnap Beth.

There is another horribly filmed scene where Willis and Colter are tied to a rope and forced to knife fight with a series of braves. Almost comical in its effectiveness. The Indians are portrayed as idiots as they yell, scream and jump around. The dialogue and the music were even worse than the action.

By the time I figured out what the story was really all about, I didn't care any more. Don't watch this movie. I don't care if you've seen The Searchers thirty times, if you are in the mood for a Western, watch it again.