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Arrow In The Dust

Arrow In The Dust

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Arrow In The Dust, Army deserter Bart Laish decides that the best way for him to get away is to join a wagon train headed for Oregon. They’re about a week ahead of him and on the trail Bart comes across an old friend, Major Andy Pepperis who is dying from wounds received in an Indian attack. He warns Bart that the Indians will next attack the wagon train and afterward finds the army station, Camp Taylor, destroyed. He assumes Pepperis’ identity and catches up to the wagon train taking command of the soldiers escorting it. He proves to be a capable leader and quickly gains everyone’s respect. As they get closer to their destination, Bart is closer to being caught and has to decide if and when he will leave them.

One of Selander’s Better Westerns

Arrow In The Dust, “Hopalong Cassidy” director Lesley Selander’s Cavalry-versus-the-Indians survival saga “Arrow in the Dust” ranks as one of the prolific western helmer’s better efforts, and it reunites him with his “Flat-Top” star Sterling Hayden. This above-average, 80-minute Allied Artists outing delivers as much violence as it does budget. Tall, grim, and gruff Sterling Hayden plays an army deserter who redeems himself after a wagon train is attacked by hordes of savage Indians. Eventually, we learn why the Native Americans are so hell-bent to destroy the wagon train. Our hero learns about the settler’s dire trouble when he discovers a dying comrade on the trail and decides to masquerade as an officer. It seems that Bart Laish (Sterling Hayden) quit West Point and became a gambler, but now he returns to the fold when his cousin Maj. Andy Pepperis (Carlton Young of “Reefer Madness”) persuades him to help the settlers. The cast and the production values stand out, while the redskins are obviously white stuntmen in colorful costumes with blankets draped over their saddles. Nevertheless, there seems to be an endless procession of these villainous Indians. Of course, “Arrow in the Dust” cannot compare with anything that the legendary John Ford did, but it is still worth the time to watch it. Lee Van Cleef has a small supporting role before an Indian clobbers him with a tomahawk. Tom Tully and Keith Larson round out a good cast.

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