An army major and his seminole cavalry put down a kiowa uprising in texas. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 06/01/2004 Starring: Maureen Ohara Susan Ball Run time: 78 minutes Rating: Nr Director: George She... more »rman« less
"War Arrow is one of those Westerns that has fallen through the cracks over time. One reason is that there were so many of them. Another reason is that its male star, Jeff Chandler, was still in the early stages of superstardom before his untimely death in 1962. Another reason may be that War Arrow would never be considered one of the all-time great Westerns.
But War Arrow is also a very fun, entertaining Western with a great cast and top-notch execution. Chandler plays a cavalry officer sent to an outpost surrounded by besieging Kiowa Indians. Joined by fellow soldiers Charles Drake and Noah Beery, Chandler immediately annoys the fort's superior officer (played by John McIntire with his usual solid but natural acting style). Chandler accomplishes this by suggested that neighboring Seminole Indians would make a perfect weapon against the warring Kiowas.
Chandler also immediately becomes smitten with O'Hara, a widow of a recently killed cavalry soldier. O'Hara veers wildly from being madly in love with Chandler to being confused about being a widow in love so soon after her husband's death.
Chandler begins to train the Seminoles to fight, all the while realizing that McIntire is a rival for O'Hara's affections. Meanwhile, the Kiowas are working toward an attack on the fort.
The plot moves along crisply, with a number of nicely staged action pieces. Everyone does their job well and War Arrow is more than worth a Western-lover's time."
"While "B" westerns died out in the early 50s, with the rising popularity of television, Hollywood continued to make dozens of "A" westerns with name stars and more adult situations. Some were true classics like "Shane" and "The Searchers"--some were just "product"--something to fill half of a double bill. "War Arrow" falls into the latter category.Jeff Chandler stars as a US cavalry officer who tries to use a "good" Indian tribe--the Seminoles--against a "bad" tribe of marauding Kiowas. Let's not get into "political correctness"--the film is over 50 years old. Not only does he have his hands full with these Native Americans, the commanding officer of the local fort, played by a gruff John McIntyre, resents his presence and "progressive" ideas. A beautiful "widow"--Maureen O'Hara--is trapped at the fort, and she soon has Jeff practically drooling over her. Since John wants her too, the "rapport" between the two men plunges further downhill. The movie toddles along for about an hour, before a climactic attack on the fort by those nasty Kiowas--led by Jay Silverheels, taking a break from his "good guy" Tonto image !Jeff Chandler, with his piercing eyes and prematurely grey hair, gives the film more dignity than it deserves. He was a good actor, and his early death deprived the movies of a fine leading man. Maureen O'Hara has always been a stunning woman--that red hair, those flashing eyes, the fiery "Irish colleen" personality--yet, in this film, she seems to be going through the motions. Perhaps after "The Quiet Man", movies like this were not exactly inspiring for her. Comic relief is provided by Noah Beery as one of Mr. Chandler's sidekicks--Charles Drake is the other. Suzan Ball sizzles as an "Indian maid", while Henry Brandon is solid as her father, the Seminole chief--not the first or last time that Mr. Brandon would play a Native American. Another member of the tribe, with totally understandable "hots" for Ms. Ball, is played by Dennis Weaver--not too well--a good thing that "Gunsmoke" was just around the corner ! "B" western actor, Jim Bannon, is also featured--he may bill himself as "James" here, but his acting is as wooden and one-dimensional as ever.The DVD exhibits a colourful, if slightly hazy, full-screen picture, and mono sound.I bought "War Arrow" because I like westerns, Jeff Chandler and Maureen O'Hara--but sometimes, even with a lot of good ingredients, you can wind up with a second-rate stew ! I would file this one under "disappointing"."
Entertaining little oater....
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 06/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, this vehicle for Maureen O'Hara and Jeff Chandler isn't top drawer; still, it's nicely entertaining and filled with rip-snorting action. Universal-International put a lot of good production values into their '50s Westerns, and their output with Jimmy Stewart, Audie Murphy, Rock Hudson, and even Rory Calhoun, is admirable. War Arrow has those good values, and some decent acting, as well. Not maybe in the league with NO NAME ON THE BULLET or CANYON PASSAGE or some of the other Universals of the period, but still worth the relatively inexpensive price charged."
PURE ENTERTAINMENT--NO MESSAGE AT ALL. ENJOY.
Kay's Husband | Virginia, U.S.A. | 06/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
If you grew up in the 1950s as I did you will know that a movie such as WAR ARROW was made strickly for entertainment and garnering money for the studio. Don't look for a message, and that trite phrase "political correctness" did not exist back then.
This is a low budget movie with several stars of box office draw showing the "west" as Hollywood saw it. Yes, it is western history according to Hollywood and that 'west' was never the actual west. Don't attempt to make more of this DVD or less than it was and is: it was and is pure entertainment and that is it. If you don't like B-westerns then watch something else, however, if like me you grew up with these movies and enjoy revisiting old films you saw as a kid, then watch on. Many reviewers were not alive in the 1950s and have no idea whatever concerning the times or the movies that played at the local Bijou, and trust me, in the 1950s era westerns ruled. And WAR ARROW is no better, no worse, than most. And it was shot in good color, which many were not.
Maureen O'Hara movies
B. J. Smith | 03/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good movie for those out there putting a Maureen O'Hara movie collection together. The story moves along well and you might even recognize some other upcoming stars in supporting actor roles. The bottom line ? Maureen O'Hara looks great and has that "spark" that set her well ahead of the pack."