In André de Toth's rough and tumble Western, Kirk Douglas stars as Johnny Hawks, a cocky, brash cowboy notorious as the Indian fighter throughout the Oregon territories. Captain Trask (Walter Abel), commander of the local fort, calls in Hawks due to trouble with the neighboring Sioux tribe, lead by Chief Red Cloud (Eduard Franz). Hawks visits the Chief to threaten and cajole for peace, and falls for his striking daughter, Onahti (Elsa Martinelli), who resists Hawks' lusty advances. Tensions mount when gold-hungry settlers Chivington (Lon Chaney) and Wes Todd (Walter Matthau), enrage the Chief's brother, Grey Wolf (Harry Landers), by attempting to trade whiskey for the Indian's gold. Hawks must broker a peace treaty, however, so the Sioux will allow a wagon train to pass through their land unharmed. Hawks accompanies the wagon train by the side of widowed mother, Susan Rogers (Diana Douglas), who hopes Johnny will marry her. Hawks, however, is preoccupied with his love for Onahti and with Chivington and Todd's dangerous quest to locate the Sioux gold. De Toth's colorful, action-packed tale of cowboys and Indians features a tense final standoff and strong performances by the dynamic Douglas and Matthau, in his sophomore film role.
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