With shoot-'em-ups galore, a clean-cut hero, dust-beaten horse soldiers and fearless warriors, The Command - Warner Bros.' first CinemaScope? release - is a galloping entertainment success. Guy Madison portrays 7th cavalry doctor Capt. Robert MacClaw, unexpectedly handed the reins of his battered troop's command. Unfamiliar with by-the-book military tactics, MacClaw nevertheless knows how to take charge. He keeps the book closed and his mind open as he leads his men and a settlers' wagon train on a desperate journey besieged by waves of Indian attacks. Multiple Oscar? winner* Dimitri Tiomkin provides the lively score pacing the thunderous action. And plenty of hoofs provide the thunder: the movie's wrangler estimated the project required 41,882 horse-hours (number of horses times number of hours used). That ain't hay!
THE COMMAND was Warner Bros.' first Technicolor release. Guy Madison, then extremely popular with western fans by virtue of the TVer WILD BILL HICKOK, heads the cast as Army medical captain McClaw. When a cavalry commander is killed, McClaw, the next-highest-ranking officer, is forced to assume command, even though his combat experience is practically nil. Overcoming the resentment of the men under his command, McClaw is able to stem an Indian attack and rescue a wagon train--not through any sort of brilliant strategy, but by improvising as he goes along. Harvey Lembeck's comic-relief role as a grousing trooper was later parodied by Billy Crystal in MR. SATURDAY NIGHT (alas, this sequence was left on the cutting room floor when Crystal's film hit the screens). Also in the cast are aish MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION.
Native Americans |
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