Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest guerilla fighters in history., 5 Jan 2009
This review is from: Ulzana's Raid [DVD] (DVD)
Well I promise not to mention the editing which seems to have been well covered. Instead I will tell you why I like this film. I like my films to have an air of authenticity and if you wish to know what it was like as a US Calvalry Officer to fight the Apache on their home ground in the American South West then this is the film to watch.

The film is based on a true event when the Apache leader Ulzana broke out of San Carlos Indian Reservation with a handful of warriors and caused widespread panic among the civilian population, to say nothing of leading the US calvalrys best a merry dance in the process. General Crook who spent years hunting down Geronimo described them as the best guerilla fighters to have lived. In that he was not far wrong. They could survive in the most inhospitable terrain and had been fighting the Mexicans their natural enemies for hundreds of years. They could ride a horse into the ground and then eat it and use the intestines for water carriers. No wonder they were such a will o the wisp enemy to fight against. History lesson over.

This film faithfully depicts that raid. Burt Lancaster plays the veteran scout ably assisted by his Apache tracker. This too was accurrate. The US troops found the best way to catch an Apache was to use an Apache. They were expert trackers. Trying to close in on this enemy was a tough task. They did not wait around to wage a battle. No, if the odds were against them they simply dissappeared like ghosts into their desert fastness. The psychological warfare carried out and the juxtaposition of the raw Officer and the seasoned scout all work well. The director Robert Aldrich had done his research and gave us the first really accurrate film about the war against the Apache.

The good points are many. Burt Lancaster is excellent as the scout and it is certainly one of his better if lesser known roles. Frank DeVols music is perfect for the film. Richard Jaekel that stalwart support actor gives a good performance. Be warned it can be a bit visceral but that I am afraid is how it was. This is not gratuitous violence but simply part of the story based on those true events in the late 1880s. I would highly recommend this film to you despite the cuts.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2009 13:52:35 GMT
As you are clearly a fan of westerns, I would welcome your thoughts on the film Will Penny starring the late Charlton Heston. Its a relativlely little known film but its one of my favourite westerns.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2009 19:19:12 BDT
Bob Salter says:
Dear Mr Donaldson.

Yes I am certainly a fan. I have recently got around to reviewing "Will Penny" which I greatly admire.

Posted on 24 Jan 2011 10:12:11 GMT
J. Severidt says:
The German version was not cut. It is available at the German Amazon store, subtitles can be turned off.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2011 00:46:13 BDT
Bob Salter says:
Thank you. I would very much like to see the uncut version.

Regards

Bob
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