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White Feather (1955)

Approved | | History, Western | 16 February 1955 (USA)
In 1877 Wyoming, during the peace negotiations between the Cheyenne and the USA, an Indian girl falls in-love with a land surveyor, causing the ire of her Cheyenne fiance.

Director:

Robert D. Webb (as Robert Webb)

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screenplay), Leo Townsend (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Wagner ... Josh Tanner
John Lund ... Col. Lindsay
Debra Paget ... Appearing Day
Jeffrey Hunter ... Little Dog
Eduard Franz ... Chief Broken Hand
Noah Beery Jr. ... Lt. Ferguson (as Noah Beery)
Virginia Leith ... Ann Magruder
Emile Meyer ... Magruder
Hugh O'Brian ... American Horse
Milburn Stone ... Commissioner Trenton
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Storyline

The story of the peace mission from the US 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. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond Any Indian Adventure Ever Filmed!

Genres:

History | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Challenge See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,125,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Panoramic Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To "show the white feather" is considered, in many places, to show cowardice. In others, it is a sign of high respect and, in still others, it serves the same purpose as a white flag of truce. See more »

Goofs

The first time Little Dog (Jeffrey Hunter) and his party encounter Tanner (Robert Wagner), they are armed with repeating carbines. On all later occasions, they have bows until the very end when the rifles appear again. See more »

Quotes

Magruder: Get that squaw out of here!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Chappaqua (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

Some Spectacular Scenes
29 September 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The production company sure got its money's worth by filming in Durango, Mexico. Those scenes of mass Indian migration, along with the massed warriors and cavalry troop of the climax are impressive as heck. I expect a lot of Mexican folks picked up a payday as a result. In fact, where this western really succeeds is in providing spectacle. The fort scenes plus the Indian encampments are both big and convincing.

The storyline may not be exactly fresh—some Indians wanting to make peace while others don't, plus the standard romantic interest—nonetheless, the individual stories are woven well into the larger conflict. Note too, how the screenplay (based on a true story) takes a generally sympathetic view of the Indians' plight— that is, being forced to move by treaty from their traditional lands. This was during a period when Hollywood was beginning to recognize Indians as human beings instead of convenient targets for repeating rifles.

Of course, an A-production requires a guaranteed box-office, and who better to bring in young folks than a leading heartthrob of the day, Robert Wagner. His rail thin frame may not look like John Wayne, but he still manages to convey the needed authority despite his pretty boy appearance. Also, Hunter remains physically impressive as the conflicted Little Dog.

I guess my only gripe is that everyone, Indians included, looks like they just stepped out of a fashion magazine. I mean the costumes are so squeaky clean and perfectly fit that you'd never guess this is supposed to be the dusty frontier. Anyway, this TCF release remains an underrated cowboy-Indian flick, especially for all its impressive crowd scenes.

(In passing—good touch allowing ambient noises such as barking dogs, squawking birds, and crying kids, to color the treaty signing scene. Usually, Hollywood would remove these as distractions, but here they lend a noisy realistic touch.)


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