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"Indian Wars movies that need to be made" Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Haitiansoldier Inactive Member06 May 2017 6:13 p.m. PST

Which battle or person of the Indian Wars do you think deserves a movie?
For me quite a few. The Little Bighorn has had many movies, but we still need one that depicts the battle as realistically as Saving Private Ryan did for the Omaha landings and the 2004 movie did for the final attack on the Alamo.
I would also love to see a movie on St Clair's Defeat on the Wabash, and a movie on the Creek War, with Horseshoe Bend and Fort Mims playing a large part.

Grignotage06 May 2017 6:24 p.m. PST

If another Little Big Horn movie would be made, I'd like it from the Sioux point of view.

US-Dakota War would also be interesting.

Had anyone tried a Blood Merdian movie?

Personal logo Dances with Clydesdales Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 6:39 p.m. PST

A serious movie of Harmar, St. Clair, and or Wayne's campaigns in Ohio would be the most interesting for me.

mikec260 Supporting Member of TMP06 May 2017 7:01 p.m. PST

Quanah Parker story.

Berzerker7306 May 2017 7:07 p.m. PST

Totally agree with Dances with Clydesdales, an underrepresented era!

Stephen Miller06 May 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

Battle of the Rosebud; lots of shooting, few casualties, lots of troop movements. Don't think it's ever been done.

cavcrazy06 May 2017 7:21 p.m. PST

I would like to see a movie about Chief Joseph trying to get the Nez Pierce to Canada. Maybe a movie about Quannah Parker and the Comanches.

4D Jones Inactive Member07 May 2017 1:57 a.m. PST

Has there been a movie of the Fetterman Massacre?

Norman D Landings Inactive Member07 May 2017 3:53 a.m. PST

There was an appalling 1950's 'not' Fetterman movie with Victor Mature chewing the scenery shamelessly as a civilian scout trying to stop 'not-Fetterman'.
"Last Frontier", aka "Savage Wilderness".

Buckeye AKA Darryl07 May 2017 4:25 a.m. PST

Along with the 1790s Indian Wars in the Northwest Territory as mentioned by Dances, the Wagon Box fight could be interesting. Hundreds of Indians attacking a handful of whites.

WarWizard07 May 2017 4:28 a.m. PST

I liked to see:
1. Battle of Beechers Island

2. Something with the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers.

coryfromMissoula07 May 2017 7:03 a.m. PST

I would like to see a solid depiction of one of the intertribal battles – there are several in the 1840s and 1850s which were multi day affairs with hundreds on each side.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member07 May 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

Careful what you wish for on the subject of Buffalo Soldiers.
The Danny Glover vanity project is utter drivel – avoid at all costs.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 8:54 a.m. PST

The Fetterman fight was covered in the TNT movie Crazy Horse. Unfortunately the movie version was in the summer, not December. Having said that, the movie as a whole is very good. The opening scenes look just like the Fort Robinson country. All in all it is clearly my favorite Indian Wars movie. Wes Studi is a great Red Cloud. Rodney Grant was very believable as Crazy Horse. I forget who played Custer but he was good in the part. They followed the story pretty well. And it was made for TV!

To me the obvious one to do correctly would be the Little Big Horn. Son of the Morning Star was probably the best, but still heavily flawed. Some of my friends were on the set and even one of the actors said words to the effect, "We ruined it didn't we?"

For wargamers both of these movies are quite good as visually they are surprisingly accurate. Try to ignore Gary Cole as Custer. Cole could hardly ride. The insipid Arquette is not even a shadow of Libbie Custer.

Both are available in satisfactory but not great DVDs from Belle and Blade. If they aren't in the catalog, call him.


Norman D Landings Inactive Member07 May 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

Despite being a huge LBH geek, it's a big 'meh' from me on yet another movie version.

About a dozen on-screen versions, and SotMS is as good as it's got.
(And not half bad, IMHO.)
The assumption that another version is going to be any better is kind of optimistic. More likely we'd get something like 'Custer of the West' with CGI horses and Chris Rock as a wisecracking Isiah Dorman.

wyeayeman Inactive Member07 May 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

The Donner Party…

attilathepun47 Inactive Member07 May 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

The most successful war movies seem to be those that deal with a relatively small action (the Alamo, for example) or a very short period of action (Pearl Harbor) or both (Rorke's Drift). I believe this is because movies about big battles simply bog down in too many characters and complexities for audiences to follow, and it is too hard to really develop characters fully with so much to try to cover. Therefore, I think Beecher's Island would be an ideal candidate--and it has never been done, as far as I know.


There was a made-for-television movie in 1975 about Chief Joseph's epic attempt to reach sanctuary in Canada. The title is "I Will Fight No More Forever," and featured James Whitmore as Gen. O.O. Howard, and a young Sam Elliott. As I recall, it was pretty underwhelming (probably too low budget), in spite of being based on the journal of a real junior officer (played by Elliott) who became sympathetic to the Nez Perce. It is available on DVD from Amazon.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2017 1:41 p.m. PST

Flashman and the Redskins

Stephen Miller07 May 2017 2:27 p.m. PST

To Garryowen,

The "Fetterman saga" was probably "best" (and I'm using that advisibly) protrayed in a TV movie back in the 70's or 80's (maybe) with Robert Fuller in the Fetterman role and Richard Egan (beardless) playing Carrington and Carroll (Archie Bunker) O'Conner playing Capt Ten Eyck. It was titled "Massacre at Ft Phil Kearny" but unfortunately ended just after Fetterman and his commanded disappears over Lodge Trail Ridge. Then you hear gunfire and, I believe, Carrington (Eagen) wondering to Mrs Carrington how Fetterman could disobey his orders.

11th ACR07 May 2017 10:31 p.m. PST

The Modoc War, or Modoc Campaign (also known as the Lava Beds War).
PDF link

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 May 2017 11:17 p.m. PST

Yes, Richard Egan's Fetterman massacre (sort of ) TV movie, from c. 1966, noted above, I'm glad someone else knows about this.

"Son of the Morning Star" certainly depicts the Indian view of the battle as much as Custer's, if not more so; also it is right up there with "Private Ryan", for my money, in terms of necessary realism (how graphic a scalping do you want to see?), and is far better history and drama than "Ryan", IMHO.

I'd like to see a GOOD movie made about Chief Joseph (a bad one is noted above), and also Tecumseh, and Quanah Parker, and Pontiac, and Geronimo. It doesn't stop there, but those are notable dramatic figures caught in dramatic times who have not been well served by Hollywood to date.

Red Jacket Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2017 7:25 a.m. PST

The Sullivan/Clinton/Broadhead campaign against the Iroquois during the American Revolution.

Stephen Miller08 May 2017 10:48 a.m. PST

to 11th ACR,
The Modoc War was the subject of a 1954 movie starting Alan Ladd titled "Drum Beat". Also had Charles Bronson co-staring as the Modoc leader, "Captain Jack." Certainly wasn't perfect as far as history or location, but I thought it was
"better than most".


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