#3 Best Westerns: Soldier Blue

soldier-blue

#3: SOLDIER BLUE

Cast:

Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Awards:

Theme song by Buffy Sainte-Marie was a top ten hit throughout Europe

Summary:

Set in 1864 – the brutal Wild West of Colorado Territory – a woman and man find their fortunes entwined after an Indian attack leaves them the only white survivors.  They reach safety in time to witness the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, where a peaceful Cheyenne village is tortured and killed by the U.S. Army.

Review:

This graphic movie has been called “the most savage film in history” and it did not appeal to the Vietnam-era audience in America, because the military were portrayed as often being more violent than the “savages” they were fighting.  The acting is often over-the-top and the massacre scenes are hard to watch.  That said, however, I rate this my all-time #3 choice because it was the first film that portrayed the other side of the story, challenging the “good cowboys / bad Indians” concepts that I grew up with.  Soldier Blue awakened my consciousness to the Native American plight and dared to go where no other movie had ventured before.  The Sand Creek Massacre was one of the darkest points in the Indian Wars where terrible atrocities were carried out on innocent Cheyenne women and children. It was a story that needed to be told.  This is one of the few movies that actually changed my way of thinking and helped me to understand that there are two sides to every tale.

Have you seen this movie?  Would it be YOUR top choice?

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