The Great Sioux Uprising (1953)

The Great Sioux Uprising (1953)

Chandler's Western Peace Healer

Jeff Chandler and Peter Whitney in The Great Sioux Uprising (1953)

Horse dealer, Joan Britton (Faith Domergue) hopes to use her connections with the Sioux Indians to buy a large herd of horse for the Union Army. But crooked horse dealer Stephen Cook (Lyle Bettger) and his main henchman, Uriah (Stacy Harris), learn of Joan's plans and steal the huge herd, in doing so causing unrest between Chief Red Cloud (John War Eagle), his people and the Union army. Also in the territory is General Stand Watie (Glenn Strange), a Cherokee, also looking to stir up trouble between the Sioux and the Union army. In the midst of this arrives Jonathan Westgate (Jeff Chandler) a former army doctor who befriends the Sioux when he tends to an injured horse. But after later finding an arrow tip in the side of Uriah's horse he becomes suspicious of what he and Cook are up to, putting himself, Joan and his friend bible quoting blacksmith Ahab (Peter Whitney) in danger.

There are two prominent names in the cast of "The Great Sioux Uprising" the first of which is Jeff Chandler and without even reading a synopsis you can almost guarantee he will be playing the handsome nice guy in the movie. At the same time there is Lyle Bettger and I reckon every western I have watched Bettger in he has played a crooked bad guy and this one is no different. No different is actually a pretty apt description of "The Great Sioux Uprising" as whilst enjoyable, if you are a fan of 1950's westerns, it offers up nothing out of the ordinary be it the story, the acting as well as the directing.

Stacy Harris and Lyle Bettger in The Great Sioux Uprising (1953)

But as I said "The Great Sioux Uprising" is enjoyable and a big part of that comes from both Jeff Chandler and Lyle Bettger as they both play their parts well giving us that contrast of tall, handsome good guy to the shifty crook with a scheming mind as well as an evil smile. And in between these two you have Faith Domergue delivering a mix of being feisty and attractive, although unsurprisingly that describes 90% of female characters in 1950's western. In truth it is Peter Whitney who frequently steals this movie because his performance as the larger than life, bible quoting Ahab is a pure joy and about the only thing in "The Great Sioux Uprising" which is out of the ordinary

What this all boils down to is that "The Great Sioux Uprising" is 95% a standard 1950's western with both Jeff Chandler and Lyle Bettger delivering solid but standard performances of equally standard characters. But for the performance of Paul Whitney alone this is worth a watch.

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