Walk the Proud Land (1956)

88 mins | Western | September 1956

Director:

Jesse Hibbs

Writers:

Gil Doud, Jack Sher

Producer:

Aaron Rosenberg

Cinematographer:

Harold Lipstein

Production Designer:

Bill Newberry
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HISTORY

This film's working title was Apache Agent . The written prologue states that the story is true and that it began in 1874. The words of the prologue are also spoken, by Woodworth Clum, the son of John Philip Clum and author of the biography on which the film is based. A written epilogue and voice-over narration state: "John Clum spent the rest of his life fighting for the welfare of his Indians, but his dream of self government for them was not realized until long after his death. In November 1955, the United States Government turned the administration of the San Carlos reservation over to the Apaches themselves..." Clum, an Indian agent, was, according to Var , "the first white man to force the surrender of the notorious Geronimo." Geronimo's final surrender took place on 3 Sep 1886 to General Nelson Miles.
       Piper Laurie was originally cast as "Mary Dennison," but, according to a Nov 1955 HR news item, asked to be released from her Universal contract just before filming began. Modern sources state that Laurie left the studio out of frustration with what she considered a lack of substantial roles. According to a HR news item, location shooting took place in Tucson, AZ. The HR reviewer praised the picture as being "one of the most interesting stories of the American frontier" in that it is "based on a true story of an important part of U.S. history, the turning point in the treatment of the Indian by the white conqueror."
       Other films based on the life of Geronimo include Paramount's 1940 production Geronimo, directed by ... More Less

This film's working title was Apache Agent . The written prologue states that the story is true and that it began in 1874. The words of the prologue are also spoken, by Woodworth Clum, the son of John Philip Clum and author of the biography on which the film is based. A written epilogue and voice-over narration state: "John Clum spent the rest of his life fighting for the welfare of his Indians, but his dream of self government for them was not realized until long after his death. In November 1955, the United States Government turned the administration of the San Carlos reservation over to the Apaches themselves..." Clum, an Indian agent, was, according to Var , "the first white man to force the surrender of the notorious Geronimo." Geronimo's final surrender took place on 3 Sep 1886 to General Nelson Miles.
       Piper Laurie was originally cast as "Mary Dennison," but, according to a Nov 1955 HR news item, asked to be released from her Universal contract just before filming began. Modern sources state that Laurie left the studio out of frustration with what she considered a lack of substantial roles. According to a HR news item, location shooting took place in Tucson, AZ. The HR reviewer praised the picture as being "one of the most interesting stories of the American frontier" in that it is "based on a true story of an important part of U.S. history, the turning point in the treatment of the Indian by the white conqueror."
       Other films based on the life of Geronimo include Paramount's 1940 production Geronimo, directed by Paul H. Sloane and starring Preston Foster (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ) and the 1962 United Artists picture Geronimo , directed by Arnold Laven and starring Chuck Connors (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). In 1993, a television film entitled Geronimo , directed by Roger Young starring Joseph Runningfox, was broadcast on the TNT cable network. That same year, a feature film entitled Geronimo: An American Legend , was released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Walter Hill and starred Wes Studi as Geronimo. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Jul 1956.
---
Daily Variety
10 Jul 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Jul 56
p. 7.
Harrison's Reports
14 Jul 56
p. 111.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Nov 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Nov 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Nov 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Dec 55
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1956
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 1956
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
2 Aug 1956.
---
Motion Picture Daily
10 Jul 1956.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Jul 56
p. 969.
New York Times
8 Sep 56
p. 20.
Saturday Review
25 Aug 1956.
---
The Exhibitor
25 Jul 56
p. 4192.
Variety
11 Jul 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Supv art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Apache Agent by Woodworth Clum (Boston, 1936).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Apache Agent
Release Date:
September 1956
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Hudson, NY: 1 August 1956
New York opening: 5 September 1956
Production Date:
21 November--late December 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
27 June 1956
Copyright Number:
LP6823
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
88
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In the 1870s, John Philip Clum, an Indian agent, arrives in Tucson to take up his new job as adviser to the San Carlos Apache reservation and meets with his superiors, Governor Safford and General Wade. Clum's humanist tendencies disturb the belligerent Wade, who believes that the only way to deal with the Indians is through military might. In response, Clum states that the Department of the Interior currently believes it has a duty to protect the Indian bands that have surrendered and will no longer seek to wipe them out. When Clum arrives at the reservation and sees a group of Apache men being brought back from the work fields in chains, he demands that Captain Larsen, head of the San Carlos cavalry, unchain them. Larsen is angry, but complies, and later, Tianay, an Indian woman in mourning for her husband, thanks Clum for his act of kindness. Later, when Clum hears some braves making war cries, he approaches the men and a scuffle ensues. Chief Eskiminzin arrives and scolds his braves for fighting with the man who set their chief free, and instead of allowing the cavalry to punish them, Clum instructs the chief to punish the braves as he sees fit. Acting on orders from President Ulysses S. Grant, Clum tells Larsen to leave San Carlos, and then instructs the Apaches to set up their own police and judicial system. After the chief chooses Taglito, Alchise and Chato as the new keepers of the peace, Clum returns to his cabin to find that Tianay has moved in with her young son Tono. Clum tells her that he is already ... +


In the 1870s, John Philip Clum, an Indian agent, arrives in Tucson to take up his new job as adviser to the San Carlos Apache reservation and meets with his superiors, Governor Safford and General Wade. Clum's humanist tendencies disturb the belligerent Wade, who believes that the only way to deal with the Indians is through military might. In response, Clum states that the Department of the Interior currently believes it has a duty to protect the Indian bands that have surrendered and will no longer seek to wipe them out. When Clum arrives at the reservation and sees a group of Apache men being brought back from the work fields in chains, he demands that Captain Larsen, head of the San Carlos cavalry, unchain them. Larsen is angry, but complies, and later, Tianay, an Indian woman in mourning for her husband, thanks Clum for his act of kindness. Later, when Clum hears some braves making war cries, he approaches the men and a scuffle ensues. Chief Eskiminzin arrives and scolds his braves for fighting with the man who set their chief free, and instead of allowing the cavalry to punish them, Clum instructs the chief to punish the braves as he sees fit. Acting on orders from President Ulysses S. Grant, Clum tells Larsen to leave San Carlos, and then instructs the Apaches to set up their own police and judicial system. After the chief chooses Taglito, Alchise and Chato as the new keepers of the peace, Clum returns to his cabin to find that Tianay has moved in with her young son Tono. Clum tells her that he is already engaged to another, but she begs him not to send her back as it will disgrace her in the eyes of the chief. Meanwhile, when food supplies do not arrive from Tucson, Clum agrees to procure guns for the Indians so that they can hunt. Later, the Apache police force bring in two scoundrels, whom Clum had earlier met in Tucson hawking Apache scalps. Clum takes the men into Tucson to be jailed for poaching, but while having a drink with Tom Sweeny, a former Army man from San Carlos, the scoundrels, having been released, show up and a brawl ensues. Afterward, Clum finally succeeds in convincing Sweeny to take a job training the Apache police force. Back at the reservation, Taglito tells Tianay that he wants to marry her and is jealous of Clum. When Taglito's brother decides to shoot at Clum with his newly acquired rifle, however, Taglito shoots him dead, and later, the chief tells Clum that Taglito wishes to make him his blood brother. Tianay tries to convince Clum to have more than one wife, and when Clum, who is weakening, receives a letter from Mary Dennison, his fiancée, he decides that they will marry upon her arrival. Clum invites the governor, the general and other officials to the wedding ceremony, but no one shows up, except Sweeny's Apache police force, who give a gun salute, much to the governor's chagrin. Despite this gaffe, Clum persuades the governor to attend an Apache dance performance that night, as an act of cultural exchange, and the governor agrees, eventually warming to Clum's ways. During the dance, Clum introduces Mary to Tianay and Tono, and Mary is shocked when she discovers that Tianay has been living with her husband. Just then, infamous Apache renegade Geronimo arrives at San Carlos and calls on Taglito and another brave, Santos, to join him. Clum offers the braves the freedom to go, but they decline. Clum then tells Geronimo that he can stay on the reservation, if he follows the rules, and the renegade departs to think about the proposal. Later, Mary tells Tianay to leave the couple's cabin, and Clum scolds her for not being sensitive to the Apache's ways. Tono is sad that Clum will not be his father and convinces a young friend, Pica, to go with him into the wilderness to find Geronimo. Later, Mary encourages her husband to search for the boy, and Tianay and Clum eventually find the children asleep in some bushes. The four then witness Geronimo attacking a wagon train, and the Cavalry rides in. Back at San Carlos, Taglito wants to take the rifles and join Geronimo, but Clum says that they will have to kill him first. Clum announces that he will talk to Geronimo, and after a terrified Mary tries to stop him, Clum, Sweeny and the Apache police head for the wilderness. Clum says that he will deal with Geronimo in the same way that the Bible's Gideon fought his enemy: They will trick Geronimo into thinking that they have more forces than they do by shooting rifles into the air. Geronimo laughs when he hears from his scout that Clum is approaching with only twenty men, but after Clum fails to convince Geronimo to surrender, the remaining men shoot their rifles and the echo scares Geronimo's men, who flee. Clum brings in Geronimo and his men in chains, while the Cavalry returns to San Carlos. When Wade proclaims that he is now in control, Clum quits his job in disgust and disappointment. Taglito and the chief, however, convince Clum not to run away, but to stay and continue to fight for their rights. Even Mary encourages him to carry on his good works. Tono, having given up Geronimo as his hero, wields his toy gun, calling, "I am Mister, I capture my enemies." +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.