Review: ‘A Man Called Horse’

A Man Called Horse is said to be an authentic depiction of American Indian life in the Dakota territory of about 1820. Authentic it may be, but an absorbing film drama it is not. Sandy Howard's Durango-lensed production stars Richard Harris as an English nobleman captured by the Sioux. Captivity segues to understanding and finally to tribal membership.

A Man Called Horse is said to be an authentic depiction of American Indian life in the Dakota territory of about 1820. Authentic it may be, but an absorbing film drama it is not. Sandy Howard’s Durango-lensed production stars Richard Harris as an English nobleman captured by the Sioux. Captivity segues to understanding and finally to tribal membership.

Jack DeWitt’s spare-dialog adaptation of a 1950 Dorothy M. Johnson story, features a lot of non-subtitled Sioux lingo, broken up by Harris’ expository passages with half-breed Jean Gascon.

Performances are generally good, especially that of Gascon, while Judith Anderson lends both pathos and broad comedy in her rendition. Harris is unevenly stiff.

A Man Called Horse

Production

Cinema Center. Director Elliot Silverstein; Producer Sandy Howard; Screenplay Jack De Witt; Camera Robert Hauser; Editor Philip Anderson; Music Leonard Rosenman; Art Director Dennis Lynton Clark

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 114 MIN.

With

Richard Harris Judith Anderson Jean Gascon Manu Tupou Corinna Tsopei Dub Taylor
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