The Great Sioux Uprising


During the Civil War, Southern agitators and a crooked horse dealer endanger the peace between the Union and the Wyoming Sioux.

ACTORS :  Jeff Chandler, Faith Domergue, Lyle Bettger


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The Great Sioux Uprising  Joan Britton, improbably gorgeous frontier horse dealer, and the much less scrupulous Stephen Cook are friendly competitors supplying horses to the Union Army in Wyoming Territory during the Civil War. Southern general Stand Watie, a Cherokee, is rumored to be in the area to stir up the Sioux against the Union, when Cook picks this worst possible moment to steal a herd of Sioux horses. Enter ex-army doctor Jonathan Westgate, who becomes Cook’s rival for the love of Joan, opposes his crooked activities…and who alone can prevent a new Indian war. For the scarlet lips of a traitor’s woman – he stood alone – against the mighty Chief Red Cloud and the scalp-hungry hordes at his command !

Veternarian captures horse thief, then performes appendectamy on him!

The Great Sioux Uprising  My title summarizes one of the more unusual features of this Universal Technicolor Civil War western. I should explain that that the veterinarian(Jeff Chandler, as John Westgate) used to be an army surgeon, before he got discouraged trying to save limbs and lives. The screenplay basically is about a major procurer of army horses(Lyle Bettger as Steve Cook) from the northern and central Plains , who has been recently obtaining his horses by stealing from the Sioux , in order to fulfill his contract with the army. Independent horse procurer Joan Britton tried to buy horses from the Sioux, but Red Cloud declined. …. Some of the subplot components are as follows: 1)Joan’s friendship and romance with business competitor Cook vs. newcomer Westgate. It didn’t take long for Joan to forget Cook, and team up with Westgate. 2)Cook vs. the small procurers, who look at him with envy, with his army contract. Westgate suggests they band together and pool their resources. But, for a while, they want to lynch Westgate as a suspected murderer.3) The question of whether Westgate will eventually reverse his decision to give up on human surgeries, especially after he does the appendectomy on Cook. 4)The question of whether the Plains tribes will join up with Cherokee Confederate General Stand Watie. After the General gives a pro-Confederate speech at a council of all the major Plains tribes, Westgate gives a speech advising them to stay out of the War….. Stacy Harris, as one -eyed Uriah, serves as Cook’s sidekick, who has a penchant for shooting or knifing anyone he sees in his way. …Peter Whitney turned out to be a friendly blacksmith, who often neglected his work to follow Westgate around as his sidekick. They were often seen with Joan….John War Eagle served as Chief Red Cloud, who did nearly all the talking for the Sioux. … Glen Strange, who played General Stand Watie was appropriately part Cherokee. His name was derived from that of real Cherokee general of the Confederacy…..Stephen Chase served as Major McKay, commander of the nearby fort.. His detachment helped to capture Cook, after Cook had a tussle with Westgate: the second such episode…… Cook stole horses from the same Sioux , not once, but several times, with the Sioux giving chase the last time: constituting ‘the great Sioux uprising’….The film is moderately interesting, not pretending to be a classic. At least, the Sioux Chief was played by a real Indian. Don’t confuse this film with “The Great Sioux Massacre”, which is yet another expose of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

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