Soldier Blue Reviews
It begins with a war party almost wiping out a paymaster wagon and guards, then, when the Army sends out soldiers to punish the Indians for the massacre, the chief cannot figure out why they are attacking him as he made peace and received a "Peace Medal". Then comes the Sand Creek style attack.
I sat through the movie a second time and sure enough, there is the chief attacking the paymaster wagon with the PEACE MEDAL around his neck.
It should be understood that in 1862-1865, many of the tribes on the High Plains had treated with the Confederacy and were fighting for the South. The band at Sand Creek had several members actually join the Confederate Army and fought in several battles in Missouri and Arkansas before, it was believed, they were sent back to their tribes as agents to keep pressure on the North. Two of these agents were captured at Sand Creek. Bet no one remembers that. It is conveniently removed from many modern revisionist histories of Sand Creek.
A group of American cavalry soldiers are attacked by the Cheyenne Indians and brutally massacred. Only two individuals survive, a private who swears by his militia and a young woman who lived some years with the Indians and sees the errors of the white man's ways. Can the two survive on the plains and make it back to civilization or will they also fall victims to the attackers?
"They're cutting off hands, they're cutting off feet, they're cutting off..."
Ralph Nelson, director of Lilies of the Field, Father Goose, Charly, Requiem for a Heavyweight, The Wrath of God, Once a Thief, and Fate is the Hunter, delivers Soldier Blue. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and unfolds well. The action scenes are very solid and the acting was better than I anticipated. The cast includes Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence, John Anderson, Dana Elcar, and James Hampton.
"You're robbing the dead."
I grabbed this off Netflix because it looked fascinating and the plot had potential. I will say I enjoyed watching the picture unfold and it was definitely entertaining. This wasn't the best western I have ever seen, but the premise had good direction and drama. Overall, this is definitely a worthwhile addition to the western genre.
"If I'm going to look different you might as well smell different."
"Soldier Blue" was inspired by events of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre in the Colorado Territory when a militia under Colonel John M. Chivington massacred a defenseless village of Cheyenne and
Arapahos, most of them women and children. This movie provided as well the first motion picture account of this event, one of the most infamous incidents in the history of the American frontier. In September 1970, Dotson Rader of The New York Times, wrote that Soldier Blue "must be numbered among the most significant, the most brutal and liberating, the most honest American films ever made". Released during the Vietnam War, shortly after public disclosure of the My Lai massacre, the film was controversial at the time not only for its subject matter, but also for its graphic depictions of violence. Nelson, who also appeared in the movie in a minor role, pushed the depiction of the violence to explicit levels, showing nudity during rape scenes, as well as realistic close-up shots of bullets ripping into flesh. The title song, written and performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie, was released as a single and became a top ten hit in the UK as well as other countries in Europe and Japan during the summer of 1971. I saw "Soldier Blue" a long time ago and I reckon it must have been a censored version for sure. Just bought the restored and uncut version and of course the graphic scenes are a bit wobbly, but yet it still offers a punch in the stomach. What I felt as well was that movie has this kind of weird balance, with an obvious standpoint towards the atrocities from the U.S Army (and of course itīs connected to what was going on in Vietnam at the same time) and graphic scenes (in 1970 I reckon it was quite controversial, not really today, I have seen much worse than this) and this slapsticky comedy structure. That creates a very uneven piece of film in my book. We have a beginning thatīs quite graphic/violent, a middle thatīs more comic and an ending thatīs very graphic/violent. The journey of Cresta and Honus is somewhat boring and stretched, but then it explodes in the final act. Peter Strauss is good as Honus and Candice Bergen as well. And how can you not fall in love with Candice Bergen... And it made me think as well that Donald Pleasence has only done weird roles.. Nevertheless, despite the unbalance of "Soldier Blue", thereīs an importance in making movies such as "Soldier Blue" and tell the story how it was, thus this is a
document to be seen, shown and remembered.