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Film Review:Ride Out For Revenge,
Bernard Girard,1957

"Maybe you'd like to know what a savage girl does when her savage father's murdered.
She cries. She cries just as hard as you did when John was killed. "
Tate (Rory Calhoun)

"If everything changes ... what will happen when someone comes
to take the land from the white man?" Pretty Willow (Joanne Gilbert)
"I don't know I never gave it much thought." Tate (Rory Calhoun)



Ride out for Revenge


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Film Review:Ride Out For Revenge,
Bernard Girard,1957

It would be easy to dismiss this black and white film as a low budget movie of very little merit which is what I am going to do. What makes it just about watchable for me is the way it handles the racism issue. The hero Tate (Rory Calhoun) is friendly towards the Indians as was Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) in Broken Arrow. Like Jeffords he earns the opprobrium of his contemporaries. The script possibly drew upon a 'real life' incident in which a Piegan Blackfeet elder was gunned down in the main street of Fort Benton. The townfolk in the film are consumed by hatred - in epidemic proportions and an old Cheyenne is needlessly and gratuitously killed Captain George, the commanding officer of the garrison, is played by Lloyd Bridges and like Colonel Baker who led the massacre of innocent women and children on the Marias River in 1870, he is a whisky soaked drunkard.

However the plot is simplistic to the point of being childish at times and the ending is particularly nauseating in invoking issues centring on the Cold War which when viewed against the discriminatory witchhunt within the film industry in the 1950s makes it especially distasteful. Nevertheless this political edge gives the film an historical interest since one feels that the soliloquy is out of kilter with the moralistic anti racist stance of the film and may have been included to ensure that in an adverse political climate the film was released.

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Chris Smallbone November 2010

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