Taza, Son of Cochise (1954)

79-80 mins | Western | February 1954

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Son of Cochise . Onscreen credits acknowledge the contribution of the National Park Service of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, which cooperated with filming at Arches National Monument Park, near Moab, UT. Exteriors were also filmd in California, according to contemporary sources. The picture was available to exhibitors in 3-D, 2-D, and Moropticon 3-D, single-strip. Jeff Chandler, who plays Cochise in the film, also played him in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1950 film Broken Arrow and Universal's 1952 picture Battle at Apache Pass (see above entries).
       Although there is no evidence that Cochise had a son named Taza, in 1882, his son Nachise joined Geronimo, Chato, and other Apache leaders in repeatedly breaking out of reservations, conducting raids, and eluding generals George Crook and Nelson Miles. In 1886 Geronimo and his followers surrendered for the last time. HR news items add Abel Fernandez, David Sharpe and Russ Conklin to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been ... More Less

The working title of this film was Son of Cochise . Onscreen credits acknowledge the contribution of the National Park Service of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, which cooperated with filming at Arches National Monument Park, near Moab, UT. Exteriors were also filmd in California, according to contemporary sources. The picture was available to exhibitors in 3-D, 2-D, and Moropticon 3-D, single-strip. Jeff Chandler, who plays Cochise in the film, also played him in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1950 film Broken Arrow and Universal's 1952 picture Battle at Apache Pass (see above entries).
       Although there is no evidence that Cochise had a son named Taza, in 1882, his son Nachise joined Geronimo, Chato, and other Apache leaders in repeatedly breaking out of reservations, conducting raids, and eluding generals George Crook and Nelson Miles. In 1886 Geronimo and his followers surrendered for the last time. HR news items add Abel Fernandez, David Sharpe and Russ Conklin to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Jan 1954.
---
Daily Variety
20 Jan 54
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Jan 54
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
23 Jan 50
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 53
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 53
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 54
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Jan 54
pp. 2165-66.
The Exhibitor
27 Jan 54
pp. 3689-90.
Variety
20 Jan 54
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story and adpt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus dir
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Son of Cochise
Release Date:
February 1954
Production Date:
began 24 June 1953
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co.
Copyright Date:
18 February 1954
Copyright Number:
LP3713
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
3-D
Duration(in mins):
79-80
Length(in feet):
7,109
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16741
SYNOPSIS

In 1872, Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise and Gen. Howard sign a treaty, which brings a long sought peace to Arizona. The Chiricahua live quietly on a mountain reservation for three years, and as Cochise's death approaches, he bestows the leadership of his people on his son Taza. Cochise bids both Taza and his younger son Naiche to maintain the peace and defend the Chiricahua, but soon after the old chief's death, Naiche tries to kill Taza and angrily threatens to follow Geronimo in making war on the whites. Naiche wants to wed the beautiful Oona, a match that would please her warlike father Grey Eagle, but she is deeply in love with Taza, which further heightens the tension between the two brothers. Taza places a guard on Naiche, but Grey Eagle's renegades set him free. Naiche and his followers massacre a family of settlers, but Taza catches them and has them tied to posts and hanged in the sun. This Apache punishment is not sufficient for a Cavalry unit from nearby San Carlos Reservation, however. Capt. Burnett reminds Taza that under the terms of the treaty, the Chiricahua must go the San Carlos Reservation if any one of them attacks a white man. He then moves the prisoners to Fort Apache. Furious, Taza and his Chiricahua capture the fort. Speaking with Gen. Crook, Taza agrees to settle on San Carlos, but only if his people are given tools and seed, as well as the right to police themselves. Burnett's support of this idea earns him Taza's loyalty, and soon the Chiricahua leave their "beloved mountains" to settle on the new reservation. ... +


In 1872, Chiricahua Apache chief Cochise and Gen. Howard sign a treaty, which brings a long sought peace to Arizona. The Chiricahua live quietly on a mountain reservation for three years, and as Cochise's death approaches, he bestows the leadership of his people on his son Taza. Cochise bids both Taza and his younger son Naiche to maintain the peace and defend the Chiricahua, but soon after the old chief's death, Naiche tries to kill Taza and angrily threatens to follow Geronimo in making war on the whites. Naiche wants to wed the beautiful Oona, a match that would please her warlike father Grey Eagle, but she is deeply in love with Taza, which further heightens the tension between the two brothers. Taza places a guard on Naiche, but Grey Eagle's renegades set him free. Naiche and his followers massacre a family of settlers, but Taza catches them and has them tied to posts and hanged in the sun. This Apache punishment is not sufficient for a Cavalry unit from nearby San Carlos Reservation, however. Capt. Burnett reminds Taza that under the terms of the treaty, the Chiricahua must go the San Carlos Reservation if any one of them attacks a white man. He then moves the prisoners to Fort Apache. Furious, Taza and his Chiricahua capture the fort. Speaking with Gen. Crook, Taza agrees to settle on San Carlos, but only if his people are given tools and seed, as well as the right to police themselves. Burnett's support of this idea earns him Taza's loyalty, and soon the Chiricahua leave their "beloved mountains" to settle on the new reservation. Taza, wearing a Cavalry uniform, heads a group of Apache reservation police, and before long, Geronimo and some forty of his hungry and weary people also come to San Carlos. Geronimo and Grey Eagle, however, are determined to escape, and Grey Eagle tells Taza that he may only have Oona in exchange for guns and ammunition. Taza refuses this demand, and when he presents the old man with jewelry and other riches instead, Grey Eagle announces that Naiche has offered him a better gift--money with which to buy weapons and bullets. Unwilling to betray his father's memory and his people, Taza gives up his beloved Oona. Soon afterward, word comes that Geronimo has broken out of the reservation. Taza wants the Apache police to capture Geronimo, but Gen. Crook readies his own troops to subdue the rebel and confines Taza to the reservation. After rejecting the uniform for his own Apache apparel, Taza defies this order. Geronimo arms his followers and, with several other bands of Apaches, awaits the arrival of Gen. Crook and Capt. Burnett. Disregarding Burnett's warning, Crook leads the troops into a narrow and dangerous mountain pass, where they are attacked by Geronimo's combined forces. During the fierce battle that ensues, Grey Eagle is killed. Taza decides to aid the Cavalry, whereupon he and Geronimo fight. Taza ultimately forces Geronimo and the rest of the Apaches to surrender, and when Naiche refuses to throw down his weapons, it is Geronimo who shoots him. Taza extracts from Crook both an apology and a promise to send Geronimo to a faraway reservation. With his Apaches now able to live in peace, Taza embraces his future wife, Oona. +

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

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