Conquest of Cochise 1953

Another Technicolor Western with great locations

This film was made a few years after Jeff Chandler played Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950), this time the Apache chief is played by John Hodiak. In Tucson, ranchers are being raided by the Apache and Comanches.

Major Tom Burke (Robert Stack) is sent to stop the violence and establish peace with Cochise.

While he’s there, Burke becomes romantically very interested in Consuelo de Cordova (Joy Page).

ABOVE – Towards the end of the film when I would imagine the location work had been done, this studio set and pretty poor painted backdrop was not really very good.

Cochise also wants peace, but the Comanches do not, which leads to trouble. Joy Page;s character is captured by the Apaches and held hostage, with Robert Stack working to free her as she and Kodiak fall in love.

It’s a short picture, running just 70 minutes, with more talk than action — and Castle’s direction seems uncharacteristically stiff.

The picture’s greatest asset is certainly its cast. John Hodiak is quite good as Cochise, making the usual stilted Indian-speaking-white-man’s-tongue dialogue work. It’s his film really. Robert Stack is a stoic hero here, a bit like his Elliott Ness on The Untouchables. Joy Page is lovely. She and Robert Stack had been paired earlier in  Bullfighter And The Lady (1951). 

The cast and crew spent a lot of time at Vasquez Rocks, about an hour from the Columbia lot

They also shot some scenes at the Corrigan Ranch. Director Of Photography Henry Freulich captures it all in gorgeous Technicolor.

Katzman’s cost-cutting is painfully obvious, the history is questionable, the ending is too abrupt and Castle doesn’t seem to have found much inspiration in the script he was handed. However it is a film that, all in all, I really like.

The film really comes to life the final reel in which Cochise is sentenced to suffer three tortures – scalded by hot steam, then sliced with knife blades, and finally burned by fire.

Robert Stack makes takes the role as the hero and plays it well

The Colour photography just has to be good and it is in Technicolorjust about as good as it gets !!

The year before this, I well remember ‘Battle at Apache Pass’ with Jeff Chandler again as Cochise as he was in ‘Broken Arrow’

That was a good film.

Both of these were in Technicolor and Widescreen

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