OK, this is a John Ford film with Boris Karlof and made in 1934. It is a bad film, beleive me! I'll put up with quite a bit in the name of historical interest and even not judge cultural norms of the 1930's by todays standards but none of this make a jot of difference, this film is awful accross the cinematic board. Why? Here we go then:
It is a Western with the lost cavelry attacked by a hidden menace, not the Apache but faceless, generic Arabs. Wooden acting and pitiful script are topped by laughable characterisation, only surpassed by the accents. Karlof is uterly wasted but could have been great as the mystic (or mad) christian sensing doom in the seat of civilisation. Ford's westerns had far more creativity and consideration, I think Ford was asleep, probably in his set trailer, while an unknown wannabe took the Directors chair and re-wrote the script.
The scenary is just sand dunes, fair enough as it is set in the dessert, but it was just not used, it was studio bound, even when it wasn't. It was like bad theatre poorly transfered to the big screen. Famous Director, Big name actors, great location and good story premise demanding a great film. The result was not Holywood Gold but west coast poo!
On the up side there is a brilliant rendition of the same story and location called "Nine Men". Made during WW2 it sparkles with wit and realisim, classic drama as documentary.