This is probably a great movie. I say probably because I seem to have seen about 4 different versions of it with various bits cut out or put in (sounds like the Apaches having a good night out...).
Robert Aldrich directs and is his usual blunt, in your face self. Burt Lancaster stars and, even taking into account the fact that he's probably my favourite actor of all time, is superb - cynical, world-weary and yet still touchingly human.
The story concerns a band of Apaches escaping from their reservation and, basically, killing everyone they come across. These are no early-hippy, nature-loving, only violent to protect themselves Indians - these are scary. A cavalryman shoots himself rather than fall into their hands and is complemented (posthumously) on his good sense. But their actions are understandable - they are what they are - the land they live in has made them that way.
Is it a Vietnam allegory? Probably - but these days who cares. It's a terrific tense film with no happy endings - just the survivors glad to be still alive.
Docked one star for the ridiculous cuts - you can torture and murder human beings just don't show a horse being hurt !
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