THE INDIAN FIGHTER
DIRECTED BY ANDRE DE TOTH
PRODUCED BY KIRK DOUGLAS
PRODUCED BY KIRK DOUGLAS
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Johnny Hawks, a former Indian fighter, returns to the West after the Civil War.
He reacquaints himself with the Indian band led by Red Cloud.
Red Cloud's beautiful daughter has now grown into womanhood...
Unscrupulous whisky traders are after the gold on Indian land.
Hawks averts serious bloodshed by convincing Red Cloud to make a treaty...
Hawks leads an Oregon-bound wagon train through Indian territory.
When he slips away to see the chief's daughter, trouble between braves
and whisky traders flares up anew, putting the wagon train and the nearby fort in peril...
Written by David Woodfield
Kirk Douglas ... Johnny Hawks
Elsa Martinelli ... Onahti
Walter Matthau ... Wes Todd
Diana Douglas ... Susan Rogers
Walter Abel ... Captain Trask
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Chivington (as Lon Chaney)
Eduard Franz ... Red Cloud
Alan Hale Jr. ... Will Crabtree (as Alan Hale)
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Briggs (as Elisha Cook)
Ray Teal ... Morgan
Frank Cady ... Trader Joe
Michael Winkelman ... Tommy Rogers
William Phipps ... Lt. Blake
Harry Landers ... Grey Wolf / Captain Trask Attaché
Hank Worden ... Crazy Bear / Guardhouse Keeper
André De Toth ... (as Andre de Toth)
Robert L. Richards ... (story) (as Ben Kadish)
Frank Davis ... (screenplay)
Ben Hecht ... (screenplay)
Samuel P. Norton ... associate producer
William Schorr ... producer
Kirk Douglas ... executive producer (uncredited)
Wilfred M. Cline ... director of photography (as Wilfrid M. Cline)
Kirk Douglas did most of his own horse riding and, at one point,
broke his nose attempting a stunt that called for him to make his horse fall.
Instead of leaning back in the saddle when yanking the horse's head around to the side,
Douglas leaned forward and took the full force of the horse's heavy head right in the face.
Hank Worden, who has a substantial role as the Indian Crazy Bear,
also does a cameo appearance as the jailer at the cavalry fort guardhouse;
likewise, Harry Landers plays both Grey Wolf and also one of Captain Trask's attachés.
In Worden's case, the deception is aided by having him dubbed when he plays Crazy Bear,
while using his own voice as the jailer.
(Perhaps not coincidentally, three years earlier, Worden played another crazy Indian
with a dubbed voice in another Kirk Douglas vehicle, "The Big Sky.")
First feature from Kirk Douglas' then new production company, Bryna, named for his mother
John Wayne turned down the lead and a payday of $400,000.
There are three "Juniors" in the cast--Lon Chaney, Alan Hale and Elisha Cook--
though by this time all three had dropped the appellation from their billing.
The flaming arrow special effects were created by Ted V. Mikels,
who appeared as both an Indian and a soldier.
The casting of Onahti (the Indian girl) turned out to be much more difficult than first anticipated.
Though there were a number of unsuccessful auditions, it wasn't until Kirk Douglas'
wife Anne Douglas spotted a model in "Vogue" magazine that the production
knew they had their leading lady.
Her name was Elsa Martinelli, an Italian model on the verge of becoming an international star.
Douglas, in his autobiography "The Ragman's Son", describes how he and Matinelli
had constant sex during the filming of the movie. So much for gratitude.
Average Shot Length (ASL) = 6.8 seconds, fast for an early CinemaScope film.
In the beginning of the film, after Red Cloud shows to Johnny Hawks two men hung by the feet,
Hawks stands talking to Red Cloud and Grey Wolf.
Then his hands appears either grabbing the holster or by his sides,
alternately, when it cuts from one shot to another.
Right before the Indians tie Todd to the tree with the intention of burning him,
he's having a conversation with Johnny. During this conversation,
Johnny's left arm repeatedly changes positions, from being stretched out against the tree,
to holding his hat in front of him and back to stretched out against the tree.
Bend, Oregon, USA
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