Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Arrow in the Dust

Another relax a little film was the 1954 Western film Arrow in the Dust. Sterling Hayden plays military trooper who assume the role of a commanding officer when encounters a wagon train under attack from Indians despite the presence of a military escort where men have been killed and wounded. He takes command and at first alienates one of the attractive young women moving west with her wagon to start a new life. Also in the train is a group of men with three wagons who get drunk and annoy the women and are constantly having to be told to get in line.

During the journey he gains the respect of the men by his tactics and also the young woman and problems persist with the men running the three wagons. One of these turns out to be full of cheap whisky obviously intended for selling to the Indians which Hayden insists they leave behind so that the Indians get drunk and give them more time to reach the only pass through the territory where they have a chance of getting through, especially after discovering that there are two tribes of Indians chasing them, including one who has not interfered with Wagon trains in the past. They eventually find out that one of the wagon contains the latest repeating riffle which were to also be sold to the Indians and which the two tribes had joined forced to take less they be sold to the advantage of one tribe over the other. When the wagon is pushed over a mountain top against the Indians they realise they have lost the point of their efforts and leave.
The young woman has found as had the Indian Scout that Hayden is not who he has pretended to be although the man had died and beforehand asked him to assume the role. There was also an issue about the about for which he wanted by the military for questioning so his intention had been to leave the wagon train once the crisis is over and make his way elsewhere. However because of the love relationship he decides to stay with the wagon even when the only other officer he has sent ahead for help returns with the men from nearest military settlement in the knowledge of who he really is. However because of the way he has got them through their ordeal the officer says he will not only speak up for Hayden but asks him to lead the men into the town and military settlement.

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