Film Review:Bugles in the Afternoon,
Ray Rowland, 1952
"a rickety and transparent effort to streamline a familiar format of Indian hunting and barracks bickering into a quality Western.......a slow-baked series of rough-and-ready clichés.......this film should be given back to the Indians. And judging by the expressions of the contributing Sioux, they want no part of it."
New York Times March 5 1952
Bugles in the Afternoon, Ray Rowland, 1952
At least this film employed "real" Indians, including John War Eagle as Chief Red Owl who just makes the credits. However, as the New York Times suggests, that is where the merit of this film begins and ends, for the portrayal of the native Americans is stereotypical. The film is lacking in bite, it is a potboiler, just another Western which exploits interest in the Battle of the Little Big Horn as a backdrop to a rather ordinary, lacklustre and hackneyed love story centring on a wronged hero who is misunderstood. The hero, played by Ray Milland has been wrongly discharged from the army, but rejoins to re-establish his reputation and is picked upon by a spineless officer who couldn't hold a candle to him. Still awake? You may like this film.
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© Chris Smallbone February 2009