They Rode West



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 31%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 558

Keywords:   native american, calvary

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 06, 2022 at 10:49 PM



Donna Reed as Laurie MacKaye
James Best as Lt. Finlay
Roy Roberts as Sgt. Creever
776.15 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 24 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

Military Medicine

Had he lived to make more than the four films he did Robert Francis might have done a lot of the roles Tab Hunter did. In his memoirs Hunter said that he did so many military based film that he could have qualified for veteran's benefits. The two looked like they could have been brothers and all four of Francis's films had a military background.

They Rode West is a cavalry western and Francis is a young doctor assigned to an army post out west where both the Kiowas and Comanches are pretty hostile. The Kiowas are coming down with malaria living near a swamp as are the military, but the Kiowas have been put there by the government.

Like William Holden in The Horse Soldiers, Francis sees himself as a doctor first and a soldier second. He helps the Indian sick and then commits the unpardonable sin in the military by disobeying orders and telling the tribe they have to move to higher ground.

Nevertheless his sincere concern for the health of the Indians later stands the cavalry in good stead.

Along with Francis are Donna Reed as the niece of the commanding officer, May Wynn as a white Indian maid captive and Philip Carey as his rival who has a more traditional frontier view of the Indians.

Francis acquitted himself well in his first film, sad indeed his career was so short.

Reviewed by rmax304823 5 / 10

Big Medicine.

Except for the attention that Robert Francis, as the Army doctor, pays to the Kiowa Indians, there's little that's distinctive about this Western. Most of the others who have commented on the movie have been on point.

Francis arrives a newbie at a Western fort that's more or less run by Phil Carey, a Captain whose previous experiences with doctors have left him bitter. He treats Francis like a stepson, constantly harrying and hectoring him.

Carey is especially discomfited when Francis begins treat the Kiowa who are all down with malaria. The malaria is linked of course to some bad water near the Kiowa camp, allowing mosquitoes to breed and serve as vectors. Of course Francis doesn't know this because the story takes place before the germ theory of disease was developed, and long before Lister introduced sterile techniques into the practice of medicine.

But, okay, Francis may not know that malaria is caused by mosquitoes, but then apparently the screenwriters don't know either because later malaria is treated as a disease you can "catch" from somebody else, like a cold.

Another reviewer pointed out that these Westerns that analyzed the relationship between the Indians and the Cavalry were a kind of metaphor for the racism that couldn't be directly addressed on the screen. The reviewer was right. Francis is loathed by the troopers, called someone who "turns on his own kind" and is a "Kiowa-lover." However, Francis saves the day, averting war between the Indians and the cavalry by extracting a bullet from the brain of a Kiowa honcho. The bullet must have been just under the skin because the way of extracting a bullet at the time was to stick a finger into the hole in the brain and search around until the projectile was palpable. Then you went in with forceps. If Abraham Lincoln hadn't already been mortally wounded, the surgery would have killed him.

I'd like to be able to say the performances add a lot to the film but I can't. Roy Roberts is an Irish top sergeant who is too fond of whiskey. Since John Ford, every cavalry troop must have a dipsomaniac as a top sergeant. Neither of the women have much to do. Robert Francis may or may not have had a future in film if he hadn't died in an accident. It's impossible to tell, judging from the work he left behind. His ensign in "The Caine Mutiny" didn't seem to promise much.

Reviewed by tavm 7 / 10

What I saw on YouTube of They Rode West, I really liked

When I found this on YouTube, I discovered that it was chopped up into various highlight segments that altogether ran only about maybe 50 min., more or less. Still, I highly enjoyed what I saw with Robert Francis as the new Calvary doctor sticking with his oath of caring for all human beings including the American Indians forced into the reservation near him. That gets him in plenty of hot water with superior Philip Carey who already doesn't trust doctors since the previous ones were drunk or just plain unreliable. May Wynn, Francis' co-star from The Caine Mutiny, is a white woman who was raised on the reservation after her parents were killed. And Donna Reed is the initial flirt who eventually gets on Francis' side when the others call him an Indian lover (the actual name they called him was "woodhawk".) Quite compelling what I saw so I decided to review this here in case I don't have the chance to watch the whole thing. Still, if I do, I'll come back here and either add some comments or rewrite the whole thing...

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