by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Stolen Women, Captured Hearts (1997)

Jack   C+

IMDB    7.3

Tribe(s) : Sioux

Language : English, Sioux



The opening lines of the movie starts with:
Custer has destroyed a Cheyenne village at Washita.
The tribes of the central plains are seeking revenge.
Based on a true story.

   A wagon train in Kansas is attacked by a band of Lakota Sious led by Tokalah (Michael Greyeyes). All of the settlers are killed except for two women, Anna and Sarah, who are spared. Anna is going to meet a man, Daniel Morgan (Patrick Bergen), who she has not met, but is to marry.

  Anna meets Daniel and agrees to marry him and she does. Then Tokalah and some of his band break in and kidnap Anna and Sarah. Back at Fort Hays cavalry Captain Farnsworth (Dennis Weaver) plans a search for the women but Daniel and some men head out first. The trackers have no luck as the Sioux lead them in circles.

   Back at the Sioux camp, Sarah is given to on of the women to replace her husband who was killed. Anna becomes a servant of Tokalah. Cetah, who was born to a white soldier who had kidnapped and then killed his Sioux mother, begins to teach Tokalah English. Anna begins to learn Sioux, and begins to fit in with the tribe, but Sarah does not want to fit in. When Anna takes scalps from Tokalah and then washes his horse, Sarah leaves quickly.

  Sarah wants to escape, but Anna isn't so sure she wants to. Then Custer comes riding in to town. He says that he will rescue the women. Anna and Sarah have been hiding food, planning her escape. Tokalah asks Anna to share his lodge with her, and she will be free. She tells him she has a husband. Tokalah says that is in her old life, this is a new life.

  Anna and Sarah try to escape, but are caught. One brave wants to kill them but Tokalah saves them. And then Tokalah and Anna begin kissing passionately. Now they are together. Sarah is bitter, she says she will never be made in to an Indian.

  Then we hear the Garry Owens as Custer and his men approach. Custer and Captain Farnsworth sit down and talk to the Sioux, including Tokalah. Tokalah says they can have Sarah, but not Anna. Daniel Morgan asks what has happened to Anna and demands her back. Custer says return them both or there will be a battle. Custer arrests the chief and says he will hang him unless the women are returned. Tokalah is wounded as they escape.

  Sarah rides off to the troops, but Anna stays behind. Tokalah tells Anna that he saw her in a vision when he was a boy, which was why he didn't kill her. Anna then rides in to the troops to stop the killing. Anna is in mourning, her faces covered in ashes, because she is leaving her people behind. Custer releases the hostage chief.

   Back in civilization Anna is not happy. She betrayed Daniel, and she is not sorry. Sarah tells Anna that she must go back to the Sioux to be happy. Anna heads back to the village but it is burned down. Anna finds Tokalah but many of the others are dead.

  Not a great movie, more like a Harlequain romance. But it was sympathetic the the Sioux and does show how the Indians would adapt outsiders and make them one of their own. It also told the story of the Indian captives who chose to stay with their captors.