Arrowhead (1953)

105 mins | Western | August 1953

Producer:

Nat Holt

Cinematographer:

Ray Rennahan

Editor:

Frank Bracht

Production Designers:

Hal Pereira, Al Roelofs

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Adobe Walls . The opening title card contains the following excerpted letter: "To: The General of the Armies regarding the subject of: Recommendation of the Congressional Award ....and in my opinion this man--in constant disregard of his personal feelings and (as Chief of Scouts) repeatedly risking his life that others might be saved--deserves to have his name rank with Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Wm. F. Cody and others whose unselfish service to this country can never be forgotten. Respectfully, George Crook, Brig. General, U.S. Army, May 7, 1886." The subject of the letter, Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts of the United States Army of the Southwest, is acknowledged in the closing credits as having provided, in part, the basis for the character of "Ed Bannon." Born in 1844, Sieber, a Civil War veteran, became chief of scouts for the U.S. Army at San Carlos Indian Reservation in 1870. Sieber participated in the hunt for Geronimo, aided by Apache trackers. He reportedly survived twenty-nine gun and arrow wounds and died in 1907.
       Closing credits also acknowledge that Arrowhead was filmed entirely on location at Fort Clark, in Bracketville, TX. An Aug 1951 Par News article indicates that Paramount producer Pat Dugan was originally to produce the film, and that Sy Bartlett was to write the screenplay. Bartlett's contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. In addition to Arrowhead , Al Sieber was a featured character in United Artists' 1954 film Apache (see above entry), and in Mr. Horn , a 1979 CBS television ... More Less

The working title of this film was Adobe Walls . The opening title card contains the following excerpted letter: "To: The General of the Armies regarding the subject of: Recommendation of the Congressional Award ....and in my opinion this man--in constant disregard of his personal feelings and (as Chief of Scouts) repeatedly risking his life that others might be saved--deserves to have his name rank with Daniel Boone, Kit Carson, Wm. F. Cody and others whose unselfish service to this country can never be forgotten. Respectfully, George Crook, Brig. General, U.S. Army, May 7, 1886." The subject of the letter, Al Sieber, Chief of Scouts of the United States Army of the Southwest, is acknowledged in the closing credits as having provided, in part, the basis for the character of "Ed Bannon." Born in 1844, Sieber, a Civil War veteran, became chief of scouts for the U.S. Army at San Carlos Indian Reservation in 1870. Sieber participated in the hunt for Geronimo, aided by Apache trackers. He reportedly survived twenty-nine gun and arrow wounds and died in 1907.
       Closing credits also acknowledge that Arrowhead was filmed entirely on location at Fort Clark, in Bracketville, TX. An Aug 1951 Par News article indicates that Paramount producer Pat Dugan was originally to produce the film, and that Sy Bartlett was to write the screenplay. Bartlett's contribution to the completed film has not been confirmed. In addition to Arrowhead , Al Sieber was a featured character in United Artists' 1954 film Apache (see above entry), and in Mr. Horn , a 1979 CBS television mini-series, directed by Jack Starrett and starring Richard Widmark as Sieber. Actress Kathryn Grant, who acted under the name Kathryn Grandstaff in Arrowhead , made her motion picture debut in the film. The picture also marked the first onscreen billing of actor Brian Keith (1921--1997), who, according to modern sources, had appeared in several unbilled, bit parts from 1924 on. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jun 1953.
---
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1952.
---
Daily Variety
15 Jun 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Jun 53
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 1952
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 1952
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Dec 1952
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1952
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 53
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Jun 53
p. 1878.
New York Times
16 Sep 53
p. 38.
Variety
17 Jun 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc to the prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Adobe Walls by W. R. Burnett (New York, 1953).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Adobe Walls
Release Date:
August 1953
Production Date:
11 November--5 December 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2891
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
105
Length(in feet):
9,473
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16336
SYNOPSIS

In 1878, Ed Bannon, a civilian scout for Fort Clark, a U.S. Cavalry post in the heart of Texas Apache country, spoils the government's attempt at a peaceful reconciliation with the Indians when he and his pal, Sandy Mackinnon, kill three Chiracahua Apache go-betweens. Bannon warns Col. Weybright that Chief Chattez' agreement to move Apaches onto a Florida reservation is a dangerous Indian ploy and insists that Indians are not to be trusted. Having lived among the Apaches as a boy, Bannon claims to know the way Indians think, and when he learns that Chief Chattez' son Toriano will be arriving from the East Coast, he suspects a trick. Weybright fires Bannon and, soon after, is mortally wounded in an Apache ambush. Bannon returns to the post to resume his romance with widow Lela Wilson, but Lela, who is now being courted by Capt. North, rejects his advances. Sgt. Stone and other cavalrymen blame Bannon for creating trouble with the Indians and try to force him out of the post, but Bannon refuses to leave. Having been rejected by Lela, Bannon courts Nita, the half-Mexican, half-Apache laundress at the post. Toriano arrives at the post just as the Indians are being given identification tags and placed in a holding area. Bannon's suspicions about the Apaches prove justified when Toriano leads a group of rebellious Indians in a late-night raid of the post. The next day, Bannon and Sandy kill Nita's brother Spanish, who has shown his loyalty to Toriano. Bannon, in an impassioned speech to the cavalry officers, again warns of the dangers of believing that peace with the Indians can be attained. ... +


In 1878, Ed Bannon, a civilian scout for Fort Clark, a U.S. Cavalry post in the heart of Texas Apache country, spoils the government's attempt at a peaceful reconciliation with the Indians when he and his pal, Sandy Mackinnon, kill three Chiracahua Apache go-betweens. Bannon warns Col. Weybright that Chief Chattez' agreement to move Apaches onto a Florida reservation is a dangerous Indian ploy and insists that Indians are not to be trusted. Having lived among the Apaches as a boy, Bannon claims to know the way Indians think, and when he learns that Chief Chattez' son Toriano will be arriving from the East Coast, he suspects a trick. Weybright fires Bannon and, soon after, is mortally wounded in an Apache ambush. Bannon returns to the post to resume his romance with widow Lela Wilson, but Lela, who is now being courted by Capt. North, rejects his advances. Sgt. Stone and other cavalrymen blame Bannon for creating trouble with the Indians and try to force him out of the post, but Bannon refuses to leave. Having been rejected by Lela, Bannon courts Nita, the half-Mexican, half-Apache laundress at the post. Toriano arrives at the post just as the Indians are being given identification tags and placed in a holding area. Bannon's suspicions about the Apaches prove justified when Toriano leads a group of rebellious Indians in a late-night raid of the post. The next day, Bannon and Sandy kill Nita's brother Spanish, who has shown his loyalty to Toriano. Bannon, in an impassioned speech to the cavalry officers, again warns of the dangers of believing that peace with the Indians can be attained. Later that night, Bannon catches Nita as she attempts to kill him, and accuses her of being a spy for Toriano. When Bannon orders Nita's imprisonment, she grabs his knife and kills herself. Toriano, meanwhile, has led the army into a trap, and the Apaches ambush North and his men on their way to negotiate a peace settlement with the Indians. A bloody gun battle ensues, during which half the men in North's command are killed. Realizing that Bannon has been right about the Apaches all along, North relinquishes his authority and lets Bannon lead an attack on Toriano. Bannon uses his knowledge of Indian fighting tactics to give the army the upper hand in the battle, and the Indians are defeated. Toriano is killed by Bannon in a hand-to-hand fight, and with his death, the Apaches denounce Toriano and his ways, and vow to seek peace with the whites. +

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

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