Dakota Incident

Film

Westerns

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Time Out says

The stagecoach breaks down in the desert, the Indians attack, but bad girl Darnell and bad boy Robertson survive (in best Stagecoach tradition) to walk into the sunset. Usually slagged off as routine, it is in fact beautifully shot (by Ernest Haller), vividly characterised, and surprisingly well written. Frederic Louis Fox's script functions as a sort of parable, with Robertson's bank robber, dogged on the one hand by a bank clerk blamed for one of his exploits and hoping somehow to win his good name back, and on the other by a senator preaching peace with the red man, cynically maintaining his belief in the power of the gun. Both these good people are killed, and the 'miracle' of Robertson's redemption is a complex mix arising out of their deaths, his own unexpected inability to kill the last surviving Indian with his bare hands, and the arrival of a storm out of a clear sky just as death from thirst seems imminent. Superbly embroidered in and around the characters, the 'message' is much less naive than it sounds when spelled out.
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Release details

UK release:

1956

Duration:

88 mins

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