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.