8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and in my book, it ranks a very close second to Soldier Blue. Apart from the good old eternal triangle which contained very little action,there is lots of action in the film which was shot in stunning territory. Towards the end there was an attack by indians and the army used what I believe is called canister shot. I have never before seen...
Published on 10 Sep 2011 by G. J. Clarke
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual western with pro-Christian bent
Set in 1868 Oregon, when the U.S. Cavalry crosses into Indian territory to built a fort, the indigenous Indians consider the action breaking the treaty which gave them the land. War is inevitable. Shot in CinemaScope and balancing actual Oregon locations with sound-stage exteriors, this is a straight forward western with an emphatic pro-Christian bent. Indeed, the film's...
Published on 14 Dec 2010 by The CinemaScope Cat
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual western with pro-Christian bent,
This review is from: Pillars of the Sky ( The Tomahawk and the Cross ) (DVD)Set in 1868 Oregon, when the U.S. Cavalry crosses into Indian territory to built a fort, the indigenous Indians consider the action breaking the treaty which gave them the land. War is inevitable. Shot in CinemaScope and balancing actual Oregon locations with sound-stage exteriors, this is a straight forward western with an emphatic pro-Christian bent. Indeed, the film's ads proclaimed, "The night of the tomahawk and the cross!". The film could have well been funded by Trinity Broadcasting Network had it been around in 1956. The Indians have been baptized as Christians by a minister (Ward Bond) and some of the tribes desert the Church when battle breaks out while others stick to their faith and help the white man. An adulterous triangle between Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone and Keith Andes also ends in a way that would please the faithful. Directed by George Marshall (DESTRY RIDES AGAIN) and co-starring Lee Marvin (doing a terrible Irish accent), Sydney Chaplin, Michael Ansara, Martin Milner and Olive Carey.
Ther German DVD via Koch Media is a handsome CinemaScope anamorphic 2.35 presentation.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)I thoroughly enjoyed this film and in my book, it ranks a very close second to Soldier Blue. Apart from the good old eternal triangle which contained very little action,there is lots of action in the film which was shot in stunning territory. Towards the end there was an attack by indians and the army used what I believe is called canister shot. I have never before seen this in a film and I guess it brought it home to me how effective this was in real battles.
Sorry my review is not up to the standard of the others but just buy the film and if you are a fan of westerns you will love it - all that needs to be said really!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More from Pegasus.,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)The Cinemascope Cat is reviewing the German DVD from Koch Media which appears to be a good product.
This new UK version is another Pegasus release, although it is billed as Pegasus/Universal.
Universal Pictures will surely not let Pegasus ruin this film with their usual rubbish copy.
Will it be in its original 2.35to1 ratio, or a pan-and-scan 1.33to1?
We await with baited breath
On the advice of Dr.Nagi, I have now ordered this DVD.
I can also confirm that the Pegasus/Universal releases of Away All Boats and Column South
are both good quality in picture and sound. It appears that Universal Pictures have provided
Pegasus with good quality material to produce these titles on their behalf.
I have now watched this DVD and can confirmthat it is an excellent 2.35 Cinemascope version,
great picture and sound. Buy it with confidence!!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film and disc,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)Another western released by Pegasus in the UK, and another film I really enjoyed watching. The disc is a DVD 5 with the film presented in its original Cinemascope aspect ratio. A nice clear and crisp print with strong colours and decent stereo sound. If you like westerns, you'll enjoy this and although there are no extras apart from a trailer I'd recommend the disc. Thumbs up for Pegasus.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pillars of the Sky Doc, they were sacred to the tribes long before you came with the word of God.,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)Pillars of the Sky (AKA: The Tomahawk and the Cross) is directed by George Marshall and adapted to screenplay by Sam Rolfe from the novels "Frontier Fury" & "To Follow a Flag" written by Will Henry. It stars Jeff Chandler, Ward Bond, Dorothy Malone, Keith Andes and Lee Marvin. A Technicolor/CinemaScope production, photography is by Harold Lipstein and music is by Joseph Gershenson.
Oregon County 1868, and the Native Indian tribes have been shunted on to government sanctioned reservations. As the U.S. troops arrive to lay the roads through Indian territory for new settlers, the Indian chiefs decide to fight back. Led by Chief Kamiakin (Michael Ansara), the Indians attack leaving the army short on numbers, all that's left is a small band of soldiers and some civilians. Can they survive on guts and religious comfort alone?
It was originally intended to be made with John Ford directing and John Wayne starring, but come 1956 the pair were unable to commit to the production. They had another Western to make that year, The Searchers! Plot is familiar for Pillars of the Sky, but the even handed portrayal of the Indians and a pro-Christian bent in the narrative, lifts it out of the ordinary. Picture is further boosted by some excellent action sequences that are skilfully crafted by director Marshall (Destry Rides Again/How the West Was Won). Indian attacks, via horseback or flaming arrows assault, considerably raise the pulse, while the sight of the army desperately trying to conquer the rocky terrain while under attack is a bona fide piece of Oater grit. With the exteriors actually filmed on location in Oregon at Joseph & La Grande, the backdrop is gorgeous, expertly brought to life in Technicolor "Scope" by Lipstein (No Name on the Bullet/Von Ryan's Express). While Gershenson (Horizons West/The Man from the Alamo) scores it with genre compliant riffs on Cavalry marches and Indian flavouring.
That it isn't better known or thought of higher comes down to a so so set of acting performances and a pointless love triangle that pads the picture out with boorish periods of chat. Malone, looking beautiful as per usual in colour, is basically a token character, who serves only to be a romantic interest that causes friction between Chandler and Andes. In fact her dialogue is minimal. Marvin has only a small role, and he offers up a quite poor Irish accent as well, while Andes fails to convince. Chandler does cut a decent rugged figure, portraying First sergeant Emmett Bell as a man you would fight alongside, but it's a performance that lacks charisma, something that Duke Wayne no doubt would have brought to the role. It's left to Bond to take the acting honours, where in an unusually restrained role for him as strongly Christian Dr. Joseph Holden, he gives good value for money as he plays it out with stoic nobility.
With a great DVD transfer and the correct aspect ratio used, the film looks absolutely terrific. It has flaws for sure, but it comes easily recommended to the Western fan. 7/10
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)This seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to arrive, and I was on tenterhooks as to what sort of print it would be. I have just returned from 2 weeks holiday - no computer, no DVD's - and there it was, waiting for me along with Timeless Video "Laramie" season 1 (see my review of that beauty). Yes, as others have said - it was worth the wait. At last Pegasus has done a first class Scope film!! Obviously this is down to Universal as "Column South/Away All boats" both very good quality, but it is lovely and about time too. Even tho I acknowledge this is a bit slow and has too many studio sets, it still works for me as one of Universal's first class "Cowboys/Cavalry and Indians westerns". I've always liked Chandler (I wish they would release "Great Sioux Uprising" another personal fave), and the support cast is good. Nice to see Pegasus do their usual thing of raising an actor's presence to star billing on the DVD cover (Lee Marvin!) Yes - I recomend this to all western lovers. Not a classic but one to treasure.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)pillars of the sky is a really great movie .it arrived in great time and excellent condition and the picture was excellent we willcertainly deal with this company again knowing how they are trustworthy and dependable nthank you so much
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)This film was good entertainment for a rainy day but story-line was too predicable. Would recommend it to those who enjoy westerns.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Western -- Mixed Up Facts,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)Let me start by saying that if you like Westerns, this is as good as most -- not a classic, but worth watching. Because it uses real names, however, it is sort of like the screen writer took all the facts and mixed them up and then took them out nearly at random to create a story. Therefore, to those who might appreciate a better understanding of the truth of the story, I'll make some observations.
Chief Kamiakin was a real chief, the son of a Palouse father and a Yakima mother; he grew up with his mother and lived on Ahtanum Creek, which was the center of the Yakima area (now the north boundary of the Yakama reservation). Without question, he was the most powerful chief, uniting most of the Washington Territory tribes in 1855 to try to stop the white settler invasion of their territory. By 1868 -- the supposed time of the movie -- after having escaped to Canada, then went going to Montana Blackfeet country -- he was living peacefully a few miles south of the location of the movie's story, on Rock Lake, where he farmed for the rest of his life. [Before 1855, he was using irrigation on his farm on Ahtanum Creek, having learned about it from Father Charles Pandosy, the missionary priest there.] The mission is still there, and I have attended Mass with several of the great chief's descendants, and had pleasant conversations with them.
This brings up another goofy scene in the movie, where they claim he was baptized "Andrew" but returned to his "savage" ways. In fact, seeing the good the priests were doing in his wife's uncle's area, he asked for a mission for his people. He was the first to have his children baptized. Chief Kamiakin, however refused to be baptized because he would have to give up four of his five wives. To his honor, he could not see turning them out to fend for themselves, with such a shortage of warriors due to wars and hunting mishaps, just so he could be baptized. Two days before he died, now with only one wife still living, he sent to the mission for a priest, and he was baptized, taking the name of Matthew.
Timothy, a Nez Percé, was a real person, as well. He was one of only two seemingly genuine converts of the Protestant missionary Henry Spalding. [It was Spalding who had the printing press at Lapwai, fifty miles to the south of the location of the story.] It is true that he interpreted and guided the U.S. Army troops. But this brings up a question. The story revolves around the "Stedlo" expedition; the real officer was Col. Steptoe. They were going to Fort Colville from Fort Walla Walla in 1858 to investigate Indian harassment of miners who were trespassing on Indian lands. A direct route would be nearly straight north, yet they were about a hundred miles east -- right through the camas root grounds, where all the Plateau tribes had gathered to store up the camas for winter. Was Timothy and his Nez Percé guides misleading the Colonel, hoping to get a fight started, knowing that all those warriors gathered in one place, upon see the army complete with a cannon, would become alarmed? Also, it was the real Timothy who showed the colonel the only way of escape from being trapped on the hill, not the white "renegade" soldier.
The mad-dash ride of the missionary was also based on fact, but totally distorted. The real ride was made by Father Joseph Joset, S.J., who rode ninety miles in one day (and night) to try to keep the Coeur d'Alene warriors from joining in any battle. He talked to Colonel Steptoe, and while they were talking, it was one of the Nez Percé who attacked Coeur d'Alene Chief Vincent, almost knocking him off his horse, challenging them to fight. As the priest and colonel were talking, a rider came in and told the priest the Palouse were ready to attack, to get out of the way. He immediately told Colonel Steptoe and raced back to his Coeur d'Alenes and managed for the most part to keep them out of the fight. In no way was Chief Kamiakin in the conference.
During the battle that ensued, Chief Kamiakin was injured by a falling tree branch, shot off by the cannon. He was far enough from the thick of the fighting that he was with one of his wives when his shoulder was broken. After his defeat three years earlier he was not very enthusiastic about fighting the Army. The real instigator of the attack on Col. Steptoe's group was a Palouse named Chief Tilcoax.
There are many other goofy "facts" in the movie, but I'll add only one more true fact. Of all the chiefs most active in the WT Indian Wars, Chief Kamiakin was the most important, the most wanted by the Army and settlers, and the only one who was not murdered by Col. Wright's terror campaign against the Indians. Even the Walla Walla chief Peu-peu-mox-mox -- who had fought with Fremont to free California from the Mexicans -- was murdered under some phoney pretext. A year after the Steptoe disaster, Chief Kamiakin told Fr. J.P. De Smet, the greatest Jesuit missionary to the American Indians that he had never murdered anyone. And, he was telling the truth unless one would say that any Brit who killed a German in WWII was a murderer.
Enjoy the movie - just don't take if for fact because they use real names and tribes.
4.0 out of 5 stars Westerns,
This review is from: Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] (DVD)If you're a western fan of the old school then this is for you! Loads of action and totally predictable!
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Pillars Of The Sky [DVD] by George Marshall (DVD - 2007)