Apache Warrior

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Western, USA, 1957, 74 min.

Synopsis In 1885, after the defeat of Geronimo, Katawan, an Apache Indian also known as The Apache Kid, joins the U.S. Army in order to work for peace between Indians and whites. One day, Katawan and his friend, Ben Ziegler, discover a camp in which the men have been killed by Indians. Katawan recognizes the work of the infamous Indian renegade Mahteen, and he and Ben capture the criminal, who taunts Katawan for being a traitor to the Indian cause. Later that evening, Katawan's brother, Chikisin, goes to see Chief Nantan in order to speak on behalf of Katawan, who wishes to marry the chief's daughter, Liwana. Meanwhile, Katawan explains to Liwana why he is working for peace with the white man from whom, he believes, the Indians can learn a great deal. Liwana expresses her preference for the white man's marriage customs because the men do not beat their squaws and the women can buy all the calico that they want. Nantan tells Chikisin that he fears Katawan is a traitor to the Indians, but Chikisin assures him that his brother only fights bad Indians. Just then Chato, another suitor, arrives, and when he too calls his rival Katawan a traitor, Chikisin fights with him. Chato throws his knife into Chikisin's back, and when Katawan learns later that Chikisin has died, Nantan urges him to avenge his brother's death, following Apache law. Ben and an army scout named Sgt. Gaunt witness Katawan killing Chato and are forced to arrest him. The major who heads the local army unit sentences Katawan to seven years imprisonment at the territorial prison at Yuma, despite Ben's attempts to defend his friend. Nantan also defends Katawan, as he does not see why the white man's law prevails over that of the Apaches. Katawan is sent to Yuma with Mahteen and his gang, who have been sentenced to death by hanging. During the journey, Mahteen grabs an army scout's gun and kills the guards. Katawan then attacks Ben, who had been following the group, knocking him unconscious. When Mahteen tells Katawan to shoot Ben as an expression of allegiance, Katawan pretends to do so, but in fact shoots at a rock. As the renegades ride away, Mahteen shoots Ben in the leg. When Ben returns to the reservation, the major chastises Ben for his faith in Katawan. Soon after, news arrives of an Indian raid on the Oliver ranch, where Mahteen and Katawan were spotted. Meanwhile, at Mahteen and Katawan's camp, Katawan angrily confronts Mahteen for his senseless killing of white men. While Katawan insists that he raids ranches only in order to get supplies so that he can escape, Mahteen admits that he is making war. The two fight, during which Mahteen carves a cross onto Katawan's arm, a sign of Indian hatred. After Mahteen and Katawan split up, the raids and killings continue, and the major, believing that Katawan is behind the violence, decides to hire bounty hunters and offer a reward for the renegades' capture. Ben arrives at Army headquarters and offers to go himself, saying that he owes Katawan a bullet, because he believes it was his friend who shot him in the leg. The major decides to allow Nantan and Liwana, who have been under guard, to leave the reservation, reasoning that they will lead the Army to Katawan's whereabouts. As the father and daughter leave, Ben follows them. Meanwhile, a bounty hunter, who has been on Ben's trail, meets up with army scouts who have Mahteen's dead body. When Nantan finds Katawan, he gives him ponies and offers him his daughter, telling him to settle far away, and assuring him that his descendants will respect the memory of Katawan. Liwana and Katawan reunite in a cave, unaware that Ben is waiting for them, gun in hand. When the couple emerge, Liwana attacks Ben, and Katawan gets the gun. Katawan convinces Ben that it was Mahteen who shot him, and just then three bounty hunters shoot from a rock above and demand that Katawan give himself up. Ben insists that Katawan fight for his life so that he might live to have a family. During the ensuing gunfight, all of the bounty hunters except the leader are killed. Finally free, the reunited friends and Liwana walk away and wave farewell to the now defeated bounty hunter.

Directed by Elmo Williams  

Starring Keith Larsen, Jim Davis, Rodolfo Acosta, John Miljan, Damian O'Flynn, more...

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