Everything I can find about the 1954 western "Sitting Bull" tells me it was filmed in Mexico. However a viewing makes me not so sure it wasn't filmed right here in South Dakota.
I bought the movie on a hunch that I might find a South Dakota connection in it. The film stars J. Carrol Naish as Sitting Bull, Dale Robertson as cavalry officer Bob Parrish and Iron Eyes Cody as Crazy Horse.
The background of the opening title scene is very obviously the Needles area of Custer State Park and Harney Peak, but could be just a still photo inserted into the film.
The first moving scene is a camera pan across a ridge of mountains while Naish narrates, "These are the Black Hills of Dakota..."
I'm not going to say I can positively identify this location, but it looks very much like the area on the Custer State Park/Wind Cave National Park border that is known as "Cow Camp." I would have to take the film along into the parks to compare the background hills, but it sure looks like it to me.
A few minutes later in the movie the cavalry rides into this fort. Again just judging by memory, but this reminds me of the area where the Blue Bell ticket booth is now in Custer State Park.
At this point I have no positive proof, but I'd like to think I've come across a lost South Dakota movie. Either that or the production company found some Mexican hills that are a pretty darn good match for the Black Hills. If you know anything about this film or have any other information, I'd love to hear about it.
NOTE: If you want to know more about this film, which turns out to be partially filmed in South Dakota, click on the comments below. Thanks to Dan Siebersma and Brenda Hemmelman of the South Dakota State Library, we now know quite a bit more about "Sitting Bull."