GenreWestern Produced byLewis J. Rachmil LanguageEnglish
WriterFrank S. Nugent, DeVallon Scott, Leo Katcher Release date4 December 1954 CastRobert Francis (Dr. Allen Seward), Donna Reed (Laurie MacKaye), May Wynn (Manyi-ten), Philip Carey (Peter Blake) Similar moviesRelated Phil Karlson movies
Dr. Allen Seward (Robert Francis) is the new doctor at a remote Army outpost. His liberal attitudes towards Native Americans become a source of tension between him and his superiors, especially Capt. Peter Blake (Philip Carey), who regards all Native Americans as dangerous and untrustworthy. Sewards insistence on treating several local Kiowa tribespeople for malaria further enrages Blake, who deems Seward a traitor when the Kiowa join forces with the Comanches and attack the fort.
They Rode West is a 1954 Technicolor Western film directed by Phil Karlson. It reunites the stars of The Caine Mutiny, Robert Francis and May Wynn. Based on the story Wood Hawk by Leo Katcher, it was filmed at the Corriganville movie ranch.
Dr. Allen Seward (Robert Francis) is assigned to a western cavalry post where his predecessors had been drunks and slackers. The post doesn't take kindly to him either, especially after he disregards regulations and tends to sick Indians on the malaria-infested reservation. The Indians break away from the reservation to move to a healthier higher ground, and when they join with the Comanches to besiege the fort, Seward is branded as a "woodhawk", the bird that turns against its own. Donna Reed is present as the niece of the post commander; Phil Carey is a cavalry captain that believes the only good Indian is a dead Indian, and May Wynn (who shared a screen debut with Francis in "The Caine Mutiny)is the white girl raised by the Indians and married to the chief's son. Francis would make only two more films before being killed in a 1955 plane crash.
Returning from a patrol, a well liked officer is wounded in the leg by a RenegadeKiowas arrow. Brought back to the post, their incompetent civilian surgeon kills him through a lack of knowledge of stopping bleeding. As the previous post surgeons were an alcoholic and a drug addict a new surgeon is requested who is competent. Surgeon Lieutenant Seward arrives at the post with the wife and daughter of the Colonel commanding the Cavalry Regiment.
The regiment is concerned with recovering ten stolen repeating rifles and preventing the so far peaceful Kiowa from leaving their reservation and joining up with the warlike Comanche. Surgeon Seward is more concerned with preventing a malaria epidemic that the Kiowa have contracted from their fetid reservation and orders the Indians to move off to their reservation to high ground that gets him in trouble with his command. The fort is besieged by both tribes with the cavalrymen themselves contracting malaria with Seward facing charges of treason.