Directed by Lesley Selander
With Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray
With Arrow In The Dust (1954), Allied Artists seems to have splashed a little more money and has both Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray in the cas to add a bit more star power than usual — and we have glorious Technicolor on the then-new wide screen. However this was made not long after Monogram Pictures was swallowed up by Allied Artists.
Sterling Hayden plays Bart Laish, a cavalry deserter who poses as an officer to lead a wagon train through Indian territory and they certainly do need his help — the Indians attack the settlers and soldiers again and again.
Along the way, Hayden is revealed as a solid leader and undergoes a real transformation (though we’re never given his reasons for deserting in the first place). Along with his redemption, he develops a relationship with Christella Burke (Coleen Gray), a woman heading west with the wagon train.
Working with a crack team of stuntmen and a sizable amount of stock footage, Lesley Selander something that as a Director he was good at.. . Hayden and Gray are as reliable as ever, rounding out their characters very well. Tom Tully, as an old scout, is also very good.
Arrow In The Dust is not an epic by any means but it looks well in this new DVD from Warner Archive.
Sterling Hayden’s performance really boosts Arrow In The Dust, and Lesley Selander’s command of action and pacing keep things moving toward a very satisfying conclusion. This is a solid, if slightly cheap, mid-budget Western that’s certainly worth seeing.
One other snippet – Sheb Woolley who had an un-credited part in this film later went on the have a huge hit single with ‘Purple People Eater’on both sides of the Atlantic.