Saturday, February 13, 2010


If Heyes and Curry had seen this film before going into the hills to search for gold in Six Strangers at Apache Springs, it's no wonder they were afraid of the Chiricahua! Arrowhead tells the story of Ed Bannon, a fictional character that a scrolling note at the end of the movie says is based on real-life Indian scout Al Seiber. Bannon, played by Charlton Heston, is suspicious of the Chiricahua Apache's offer to the Army at Fort Clarke, Texas, to make peace. The Army, however, has no such doubts.

Set during the time of the Apache Wars, Arrowhead includes lots of fighting between the Indians and the soldiers; lots of drumming, which sounds stereotypically Indian, as background music; and some romance between Ed and two women that don't make a whole lot of sense. One of the love interests is Nita, a half-Mexican, half-Apache woman, played by Katy Jurado (Carlotta Armendariz in The McCreedy Feud).

Although this movie was produced about twenty years before ASJ, Jurado looks the same here as she does in the TV show--she didn't age much but, on the other hand, she looks old and worn out in Arrowhead. Nita is not particularly endearing and it's hard to see why Bannon would be attracted to her.

However, Bannon as a character is very interesting. He was apparently raised by the Apaches for a number of years, but it's never very clear why that was so or why he left them and became a scout for the Army. He wears a red shirt that laces up the front, which reminded me of Kid's similarly-styled shirt that he wears in several later episodes. And when Bannon shaves shirtless, I couldn't help but be reminded of the scene in Never Trust an Honest Man. But Kid looks much cuter, both when wearing the shirt and without it!

At one hour and forty-five minutes, the film dragged at times despite the abundant action. There are no bonus features. After watching the entire movie, I still don't know why it was called Arrowhead. On a positive note, Brian Keith made his film debut in this movie and he plays the role of an Army officer very nicely. Another positive attribute is that Edith Head was the costume designer and because of that, I think the costumes worn by the actors were probably as authentic as they could possibly be.

Official website of the Chiricahua Apache nation: