A motley group - it includes a cavalry officer, a sheriff, two convicts, two women (one haughtily respectable, one not), a renegade gun-and-whisky runner - fight a desperate rearguard battle as they trek across the Arizona desert with Apaches on their tail. It's a stock Western situation but a highly enjoyable film, magnificently shot by William Clothier and with a surprisingly tight, inventive script by Warren Douglas (the Apaches need the renegade alive for future use, for example, so they merely pick off the horses as the first stage in a war of attrition) which is particularly strong on characterisation (with the good/bad balances subtly shifting under pressure). Excellent performances, too, with Elam especially memorable as a man so accustomed to being pigeonholed as an ugly desperado that he is doggily abashed by an orphaned child's unhesitating acceptance of him as a trustworthy protector.
Dragoon Wells Massacre
Cast and crew