This is one of my all-time-favorite western!
Skilled directing, good actors and a really good music-score brings quality to an already appealing story (partly fiction, and partly true story) with interesting characters. I got a little bit shocked when learning that not many people have seen it, cause it certainly is worth a watch at least.
In the beginning of the movie, we witness a massacre of U.S. cavalry troops commited by cheyenne's. Only two survivors, a naive soldier, Gantz (Peter Strauss) who do his duty before anything else, and a white woman, Cresta (Candice Bergen) who was married to the cheyenne chief but was about to return to civilisation. Being in the middle of nowhere they try to walk to some village while surviving in the wild. Although being a trained soldier, Gantz has no experience whatsoever in how to survive, though he makes to sincere attempts at keeping up appearances and "protecting" Cresta. Cresta on the other hand has lived most of her life in a cheyenne village and will have to show Gantz what to do all the time. The constrast between them is quite funny!
You will also spot Doland Pleasence as a not so sympathic weapon negotiator.
It's not just another movie about the cruelty against the native americans during the 1900 century. This movie is infamous for it's "extremly" violent scenes (in fact that's just the last 25-30 minutes of the movie. But they will appear a bit lame by today's measures.), portraying a massacre of a whole cheyenne village, where defenseless women were raped and killed with their children.
Some critics have called this unconvincing and that of course makes me wonder what they might have had in mind. The main thing that makes this western different from other good westerns is that the "hero" is a woman. But I guess that could be little bit too much for some western-fans used to John Wayne flicks where the man is the strong sex and the woman is the weak irrational one. I see it as a fresh air cause I know a few women very silimar to Cresta's character (and they aren't lesbian ;) and can tell for sure that women like Cresta really exist. But then again, if you have a problem with strong, clever women in movies, don't watch this.
By this I don't mean to say that if you dislike Soldier Blue you nessecairly have a problem with women, I'm just speaking about those critics that obvisouly had.
Propaganda movie- yes. But it's not the least naive.
I think this movie is very underrated. Take a look and decide for yourselves!