Comanche (1956)

87-89 mins | Western | March 1956

Director:

George Sherman

Writer:

Carl Krueger

Producer:

Carl Krueger

Cinematographer:

Jorge Stahl Jr.

Production Designer:

Ramon Rodriguez

Production Company:

Carl Krueger Co., Inc.
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HISTORY

Assistant director Ignacio Villarreal's surname was misspelled "Villareal" in the onscreen credits. The film was, according to an onscreen acknowledgment, "filmed in its entirety in Durango in Old Mexico for historical authenticity....Most of the characters, places, dates and events in this story are factual." The real Quanah Parker, a chief of the powerful Kwahadie band, grew up fighting whites, even though his mother, Cynthia Parker, was white. In 1874, Quanah led a combined force of over seven hundred Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho and Cheyenne warriors in an unsuccessful attack on Adobe Walls, an old trading post in the Staked Plain of Texas.
       That summer, generals Miles and Mackenzie pursued and fought the Indians until, hungry and demoralized, they began to surrender. Quanah, the last of the Comanches to surrender, came in under a flag of truce in Jun 1875. As a reservation Indian, he learned the ways of whites while continuing to lead his people and maintain his customs and heritage as an Indian. The dialogue spoken by "Quanah" near the film's close was actually uttered by the real-life Chief Joseph, a Nez Perce chief who, upon losing his lands and many of his people during a prolonged flight from the U.S. Cavalry, finally surrendered with the words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
       Actor Stacy Harris' name is misspelled "Stacey Harris" in the onscreen credits. Pre-release news items in HR include Iron Eyes Cody and Marta Moya in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A DV news item noted that Arthur Space, originally cast as "General Eckert" (later listed ... More Less

Assistant director Ignacio Villarreal's surname was misspelled "Villareal" in the onscreen credits. The film was, according to an onscreen acknowledgment, "filmed in its entirety in Durango in Old Mexico for historical authenticity....Most of the characters, places, dates and events in this story are factual." The real Quanah Parker, a chief of the powerful Kwahadie band, grew up fighting whites, even though his mother, Cynthia Parker, was white. In 1874, Quanah led a combined force of over seven hundred Comanche, Kiowa, Arapaho and Cheyenne warriors in an unsuccessful attack on Adobe Walls, an old trading post in the Staked Plain of Texas.
       That summer, generals Miles and Mackenzie pursued and fought the Indians until, hungry and demoralized, they began to surrender. Quanah, the last of the Comanches to surrender, came in under a flag of truce in Jun 1875. As a reservation Indian, he learned the ways of whites while continuing to lead his people and maintain his customs and heritage as an Indian. The dialogue spoken by "Quanah" near the film's close was actually uttered by the real-life Chief Joseph, a Nez Perce chief who, upon losing his lands and many of his people during a prolonged flight from the U.S. Cavalry, finally surrendered with the words, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
       Actor Stacy Harris' name is misspelled "Stacey Harris" in the onscreen credits. Pre-release news items in HR include Iron Eyes Cody and Marta Moya in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A DV news item noted that Arthur Space, originally cast as "General Eckert" (later listed as "General Nelson A. Miles"), withdrew from the film due to illness, and was replaced by John Litel. Litel, who had already been cast as "Commissioner Ward," was then replaced by Lowell Gilmore. According to a HR news item, Mexican director Matilde Landeta (1910--1999) was assigned to act as the government's official liaison to the production. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Mar 1956.
---
Daily Variety
26 Aug 1955.
---
Daily Variety
5 Mar 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Mar 56
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
10 Mar 56
p. 38.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 1955
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 56
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
10 Mar 56
p. 809.
The Exhibitor
21 Mar 56
p. 4122.
Variety
7 Mar 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus comp and dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Photog eff
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Script supv
Mexico government liaison
STAND INS
Stunts
SOURCES
SONGS
"A Man Is as Good as His Word," music by Herschel Burke Gilbert, lyrics by Alfred Perry, sung by The Lancers, Coral Recording Artists.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1956
Production Date:
24 August--5 October 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Carl Krueger Co., Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 March 1956
Copyright Number:
LP6409
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
De Luxe; Eastman
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
87-89
Length(in feet):
7,848
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17714
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1875, a group of renegade Comanches led by the warlike Black Cloud attacks and burns a Mexican village, kidnaps a number of women, including beautiful young Margarita Alvarez, and escapes Mexican troops by crossing the border into U.S. territory. Later that day, Quanah Parker, chief of the Comanche Antelope tribe, stops the renegades from massacring a gang of scalp traders, led by former Cavalry scout Art Downey. Scout Jim Read orders Downey to stay out of the territory, accusing him of having made "a career of Indian hating," which prompts Downey to call Jim an Indian lover. At the Cavalry encampment, Jim meets Commissioner Ward, a government official who has been ordered to end the latest round of Comanche raids into Mexican territory. General Nelson A. Miles and Jim explain to Ward the roots of the mutual animosity between the Mexicans and the Comanches: When in the early eighteenth century the conquering Spaniards discovered that the land was rich in silver, they forced Comanches to work the mines as slaves. The Comanches rebelled and massacred the Spaniards, who began offering rewards for Indian scalps, even those taken from women and small children. After winning independence from Spain, Mexico officially ended the practice, but by that time, scalp hunting had become big business. Now, Jim concludes, hatred and killing is "a way of life." If the U.S. and Mexico promise to end scalp hunting, Jim maintains, and can persuade respected chief Quanah to approve an "honorable" peace agreement, the raids will cease. Commissioner Ward and Miles send Jim and his cohort Puffer to negotiate with Quanah, but when Downey informs the distrustful ... +


In 1875, a group of renegade Comanches led by the warlike Black Cloud attacks and burns a Mexican village, kidnaps a number of women, including beautiful young Margarita Alvarez, and escapes Mexican troops by crossing the border into U.S. territory. Later that day, Quanah Parker, chief of the Comanche Antelope tribe, stops the renegades from massacring a gang of scalp traders, led by former Cavalry scout Art Downey. Scout Jim Read orders Downey to stay out of the territory, accusing him of having made "a career of Indian hating," which prompts Downey to call Jim an Indian lover. At the Cavalry encampment, Jim meets Commissioner Ward, a government official who has been ordered to end the latest round of Comanche raids into Mexican territory. General Nelson A. Miles and Jim explain to Ward the roots of the mutual animosity between the Mexicans and the Comanches: When in the early eighteenth century the conquering Spaniards discovered that the land was rich in silver, they forced Comanches to work the mines as slaves. The Comanches rebelled and massacred the Spaniards, who began offering rewards for Indian scalps, even those taken from women and small children. After winning independence from Spain, Mexico officially ended the practice, but by that time, scalp hunting had become big business. Now, Jim concludes, hatred and killing is "a way of life." If the U.S. and Mexico promise to end scalp hunting, Jim maintains, and can persuade respected chief Quanah to approve an "honorable" peace agreement, the raids will cease. Commissioner Ward and Miles send Jim and his cohort Puffer to negotiate with Quanah, but when Downey informs the distrustful Ward that Jim's mother was the sister of Quanah's mother, an American who had been captured by Indians as a child, he orders the peace talks cut short. While seeking Quanah, Jim and Puffer find Margarita wandering the countryside in a daze and offer her food. They then watch as Downey's gang, anxious for more scalps, shoots at two Comanches. Jim and Puffer rescue one of the wounded Indians and return him to Quanah's stronghold, but Black Cloud accuses Jim of the shooting. The injured Comanche, Quanah's brother, regains his strength and clears Jim and Puffer, after which Jim persuades Quanah to make peace with the U.S. and Mexican governments. Jim tells Quanah they are cousins, and Quanah vows loyalty to his white friend. This infuriates Black Cloud, who gathers his own followers and leaves the village. Jim and Puffer ride off to fetch Ward and Miles for a peace council, but before they leave, Jim promises Margarita that he will return and marry her. On the journey to the Army encampment, Jim and Puffer come across a Cavalry unit that has just been massacred by Black Cloud. Miles soon arrives with Ward, Downey, and a large regiment of soldiers, but Ward, who calls Jim the cousin of a savage, has ordered Miles to subdue Quanah by force, and Jim is unable to prevent their march to Quanah's stronghold. Seeing the soldiers, Black Cloud sends word to Quanah and then traps and destroys a column of troopers led by Ward and Downey. Black Cloud captures Ward and threatens to kill him if Miles and his approaching column refuse the renegade Comanches safe passage from the area. Just then Quanah, leading a huge force of loyal Comanches, threatens to attack Black Cloud. Trapped, the vengeful Black Cloud kills Ward and begins battling Miles's men. During the battle, Downey's shot misses Jim's back, but Jim's return bullet finds its mark. Next, Jim fights with and finally strangles Black Cloud, and soon the battle ends and Quanah and Miles shake hands. The Comanches will uphold the peace, Quanah promises, in exchange for the freedom to choose their own teachers, practice their own religion, and think their own thoughts. "From where the sun now stands," he declares, "we will fight no more forever." The agreement made, the troopers start toward home, with Jim and Margarita in the lead. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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