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Friday 24 August 2012

Burl reviews Apache Woman! (1955)

Lu-lu-lu-lu-lu, it’s Burl! Ha ha, yes, I’m here to review a cowboy-and-indian picture for you, an authentic oater from days gone by called Apache Woman! It’s a Roger Corman picture, and an historic one too, since it featured the first feature film performance – or should I say performances – from the legendary Dick "Explorers" Miller, who plays both a cowboy and an Indian! Ha ha!
Things are restless between the townsfolk and the Apaches, it seems, and that’s putting it mildly! There’ve been rootings, tootings, rustlings, ropings and murders happening throughout the vicinity, and though, as we’re told many times, the marauders leave no living witnesses to their crimes, all signs point to the Apaches being behind it! The townsfolk, including Dick Miller and Jonathan Haze, are starting to feel in a posseing sort of mood!
Caught in the middle of this are the brother-and-sister demi-castes Armand and Anne, half white and half Apache, who can’t get any respect from either side! Armand in particular, perhaps feeling additionally alienated because of his French name, has had enough of this poor treatment and universal disrespect! Every word he says drips with venal sarcasm, and he delivers each line with a weird sharky grin! It’s pretty clear that he’s the one behind the marauding – unless of course there’s a startling twist at the end!
Soon Rex Moffitt shows up, and he’s played by Lloyd Bridges! Rex is some kind of Apache expert, and he’s trying to keep the situation from blowing sky high like the powder keg it is! The moment he meets Armand he’s pretty sure he knows what’s really going on, but his special attraction to Anne – he bears special witness to a little bit of skinny dipping after all, ha ha! – prevents him from hauling her brother off to the pokey without some solid evidence!
I won’t tell you how it all winds up, but I will say that I enjoyed all the performances in this picture, particularly the dual roles essayed by Mr. Dick Miller! He really did a great job, and it was hard to believe it was only his first movie! I thought he was marvelous as the Apache in the bowler hat!
Altogether, this is a pretty solid little oater! It’s too bad what happens to Jonathan Haze, and maybe there are some scenes with a bit too much chatting in them, and maybe I didn’t see the movie in its original Pathécolor, but I enjoyed it! I give Apache Woman two and a half yo-yo sheriffs!

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