Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
White Feather, 1955
WHITE FEATHER is a perfect mid-'50s western, which somehow I never saw at the time. I was 10 or so then and seeing all those early 50s westerns with my father: JOHNNY GUITAR (the first film I saw aged 8, what a vivid introduction to cinema), SHANE, THE COMMAND, DRUM BEAT, SITTING BULL, THE GAMBLER FROM NATCHEZ, GARDEN OF EVIL, CATTLE QUEEN OF MONTANA, THE MAVERICK QUEEN, THE LAST WAGON, RIVER OF NO RETURN, BROKEN LANCE etc. We kids loved anything with covered wagons and Indian attacks on forts, and heroes like Dale Robertson, Clint Walker, Audie Murphy or Guy Madison, or as teamed several times, Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter.
My father also took me to all those John Wayne and James Stewart westerns, like NIGHT PASSAGE and Ford's THE SEARCHERS, where Hunter had his immortal moment as half-breed Martin Pawley (Wagner had tested for that for Ford would not cast him, it would have been Wagner's first teaming with Natalie Wood if he had).
WHITE FEATHER: The story of the peace mission from the
cavalry to the Cheyenne Indians in Wyoming
during the 1870s. The mission is threatened when a civilian surveyor befriends
the chief's son and falls for the chief's daughter.
Wagner is the lead here, and Jeff is Little Dog, the Indian brave, with Hugh O'Brien as his sidekick. Debra Paget is the indian princess and stodgy John Lund also features.
We have covered Jeff Hunter several times before - he is one of "People We Like" - he of course died aged 42 in 1969, Wagner is still here and writing entertaining books, at 86, while Hugh died last year aged 91. Wagner and Hunter appeared in at least 5 films together, as well as the all-star THE LONGEST DAY, while Hunter also did five with Debra Paget - we are very partial to their 1954 PRINCESS OF THE NILE where Deb does one of her torrid dances, and Jeff wears a turban and harem pants, in old Cairo, right. Debra was back out west with Elvis in his first film LOVE ME TENDER in 1956.
WHITE FEATHER though is well done, scripted by western maestro Delmar Daves, but directed by one Robert D. Webb.