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When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.
A movie of note only because it stars a 19 year old Pier Angeli, who plays an Italian girl who meets an American solider (John Ericson) during the war, and marries him shortly thereafter. Angeli is bright-eyed and radiant, and I loved her conversations with her family in Italian, even if they weren't subtitled (maybe even more so because they weren't). Briefly seeing some of the sites in Rome was also nice. Unfortunately, Ericson is not nearly as good as Angeli. His character is admittedly difficult to play and not all that likeable, suffering from panic attacks, lack of confidence, and overall wishy-washiness. I loved how the film is honest in its depiction of war, showing us fear and cowardice, but unfortunately there are no real consequences to it. There are hints at the generation gap of the 1950's, but Ericson is no James Dean. The story telling from director Fred Zinnemann is too segmented and scattered, shifting from war film, to war bride film, to domineering mother film. Patricia Collinge is brilliant as the mom, particularly as we come to understand just how controlling she is, but it's at a point in the film where we just don't see the focus. The ending is also abrupt and unbelievable, as if the filmmakers didn't where to go with it either.
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