This multi-layered ,violently staged,intelligent western about an Apache uprising which catches the army by surprise is memorable and an under-rated masterpiece .
Every moment is tense and every character is a real breathing human being whether Apache,black or white.
James garner is great as the avenging scout whose Comanche wife was scalped by a white man,while Poitier is even better as the ex-soldier horse wrangler who dreams of being an entrepreuner one day,together they have to escort the army detail of 30 green soldiers across Apache land where an uprising is in progress.
Bibi anderson is the estranged wife of the indian hater Dennis Weaver ,who was abducted by Apaches and lived as a squaw till being rescued a year ago,they are both struggling to cope as outcasts and she is detested by the community,they both are totally natural in their parts .
The racial interaction is brilliantly played with the fight for survival in an immaculate action drama with great set pieces and the vast vistas of the Utah canyons with beautiful montages and great musical score.
The human drama though outweighs the technical perfection and makes this a must-see .
this is one of Garner-Poitier best ever and Travers as the army officer is memorable too ,but it is Bibi as the victim caught between two cultures and the old wizened indian chief Plata-John hoyt who bring both wisdom and sensitivity to this eternal theme of human strife .
Hugely entertaining and popular art at it's best this is Ralph Nelson at his peak ,
adapted from the Albert book~APACHE RISING,it is a scorching thriller in the heat of the Utah desert where water is more precious than blood and that defines the essential theme of human survival in this fascinating drama.
The dvd is excellent and a must buy for western and action movie fans with a liking for intelligent ,well crafted story telling .