Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chief Crazy Horse not the most accurate film

In 1955 Universal International Pictures released "Chief Crazy Horse," which supposedly depicts the life of the famed Lakota warrior. It was filmed in South Dakota's Black Hills and Badlands.

Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where Hollywood played loose and fast with the facts. Scriptwriting aside, casting and costuming leave a lot to be desired in the accuracy department. Victor Mature plays the title role. His Italian ancestry and some heavy makeup apparently made him perfect for the character and entitled to wear a ridiculous set of red painted feathers on his forehead.

I wasn't around in the 1800s, but I'm fairly confident no Native American of the time period wore a warbonnet quite like "Chief Purple Plumes" here.

The fort in the film is almost certainly the same one that sat in Custer State Park for years and can be seen in a brief clip in "How the West Was Won."

In another case of different movies sharing the same sets and props, this very tepee with it's rainbows and bull buffalo painted over the doorway is also seen in the 1951 film "Tomahawk," which will be featured in my next post.

I also find it odd that the poster above mentions the battle of the Little Bighorn, but in the movie the battle is represented by an image of clouds with battle sounds. Apparently budget concerns may not have allowed recreating the battle itself.

"Chief Crazy Horse" is available for viewing at NetFlix.

1 comment:

  1. In 1955 Universal International Pictures released "Chief Crazy Horse," which supposedly depicts the life of the famed Lakota warrior. It was filmed in South Dakota's Black Hills and Badlands.

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