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The Savage (1952)

Passed | | Action, Romance, Western | September 1952 (USA)
A white boy raised by the Sioux must choose sides when the Sioux threaten to go to war against the Whites.


George Marshall


L.L. Foreman (novel), Sydney Boehm (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Charlton Heston ... James 'Jim' Aherne Jr. / War Bonnet
Susan Morrow ... Tally Hathersall
Peter Hansen ... Lt. Weston Hathersall (as Peter Hanson)
Joan Taylor ... Luta
Richard Rober ... Capt. Arnold Vaugant
Don Porter ... Running Dog (as Donald Porter)
Ted de Corsia ... Iron Breast
Ian MacDonald ... Chief Yellow Eagle
Milburn Stone ... Cpl. Martin
Angela Clarke ... Pehangi
Orley Lindgren ... 'Whooper' Aherne, Jim as a boy
Michael Tolan ... Long Mane
Howard Negley ... Col. Robert Ellis (as Howard J. Negley)
Frank Richards ... Sgt. Norris


The only white survivor of a Crow Indian raid on a wagon train is a young boy. He is rescued by the Sioux, and the Sioux chief raises him as an Indian in very way. Years later, the white men and the Sioux threaten to go to war and the Indian-raised white man is torn between his racial loyalties and his adopted tribe. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


CHARLTON HESTON...fresh from his triumph in "The Greatest Show on Earth" See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der weiße Sohn der Sioux See more »

Filming Locations:

South Dakota, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

A circle of savage splendor!
28 May 2000 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Photographed in color in the Black Hills of South Dakota, George Marshall's "The Savage" is a sympathetic look at the Indian Sioux presenting them as people, recurring on love and loyalty based on mutual respect—in this case, the bond between a Chief Indian and his adopted son...

The film opens in 1868 on Sioux country, with a wagon trail attacked by the aggressive Crow Indians... All are massacred except Young Heston, eleven-years old... Sioux warriors arrive on the scene, in their eyes the young boy is a brave warrior, instantly adopted by Yellow Eagle—chief of this Miniconju branch of the Sioux with the name of War Bonnet...

Time goes by and the boy grows to manhood... War was about to break out between the Sioux nation and the white men... Heston has to decide soon on whose side will fight... Meanwhile, a pretty young squaw named Luta (Joan Taylor) has fallen in love with Heston who sees her only as his "little" sister... She reacts by calling him: "Man of stone, man who sees no woman, man of no love. Blind one!"

The great moment of the film is the test of truth, before the assembled warriors in the great council meeting, questioning on Heston's divided loyalty... Yellow Eagle's only request: "My son. I ask only one thing. Do not bring disgrace to my name."

Charlton Heston early efforts as an actor are exciting:

  • Heston, the best warrior: galloping at full tilt to catch a wild white stallion..

  • Heston's wisdom at the Indian meeting: "Is it the pigment of a man's skin which makes him a Miniconju, a member of the mighty Sioux? Is it the color of his eyes? No, neither of these things. It is the beating inside his body."

  • Heston's anger: "From this day forth, let no man call me white!"

  • Heston's delicate hint if he allows the ambush to go through, innocent men, women, and children will be killed: "My heart no longer quickly grows hot with anger, but all whites are not killers."

  • Heston, a peacemaker: "I do not ask for sympathy. I am here to stop you from destroying yourselves."

  • Heston's warn: "More soldiers will come... More guns as many as there are stars in heaven. For every soldier you kill, ten will come."

With violent action scenes and great beautiful sceneries (mountains, lakes, woods, grasslands) "The Savage" is a fair Western, solemn, humane, rather tedious...

Strangely enough, one year later, Heston is cast in an excellent Western "Arrowhead," as a chief of scouts for U.S. armed forces fighting Apaches...

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