Apache War Smoke

"Apache War Smoke" (MGM, 1952) Credits: Gilbert Roland, Glenda Farrell, Robert Horton, Barbara Ruick, Gene Lockhart, Henry Morgan, Patricia Tiernan, Hank Worden, Myron Healey, Argentina Brunetti, Bobby Blake, Douglas Dumbrille

Directed by Harold Kress; Produced by Hayes Goetz; Screen Play by Jerry Davis; Based on a Story by Ernest Haycox

When a stagecoach carrying a shipment of gold reaches a remote desert outpost managed by Tom Herrera (Robert Horton), its passengers are told they must remain at the station because of an eminent attack by Apaches who demand  the white blood brother who has brought death to their tepees. The passengers include Major Dekker (Douglas Dumbrille), now reunited with his daughter, Nancy (Barbara Ruick), who has been awaiting his arrival at the station and has fallen in love with Tom.
Also arriving, the seemingly prim Mrs. Fanny Webson (Glenda Farrell); Cyril Snowden (Gene Lockhart), officious executive of the stage company; and his companion, Lorraine Seyburn (Patricia Tiernan), who only a year ago had spurned Tom. Against his better judgment, Tom also allows his estranged father, the bandit Peso (Gilbert Roland), to take refuge at the station, though he disarms him first. While Major Dekker rides to Fort Clayton for help, army scout, Pike Curtis (Myron Healey) arrives with the news that the Apaches are coming. And when Peso gives Nancy a bracelet which he claims was given to him by the Indians, he is suspected of being the renegade the Apaches are seeking.
Peso denies the accusations concerning the Apaches, but still has his sights set on stealing the gold shipment. However, when the Apaches throw the Major's hat over the wall, ending any chance of help from the fort, all unite in defending themselves against the fierce Indian attack. In the meantime, Peso makes Pike admit he is the one wanted by the Apaches and forces him out and into the hands of the Indians. 
With the stagecoach now free to leave, Lorraine, having tried in vain to recapture Tom's interest, leaves with Snowden and Mrs. Webson, while Nancy stays behind with Tom. The last we see of Peso, he is riding along a trail that just happens to parallel the stage road.
As Robert Horton's first picture for MGM, the publicity department made much of the "newcomer," hailing him as "following in the footsteps of Clark Gable and Robert Taylor." And for his first MGM picture, he donned the boots worn by Gable in "Honky Tonk" and the spurs worn by Taylor in "Billy the Kid." A review of the film also added, "Robert Horton gives a virile punch to the part of the son who pits his strength against his father's cunning."

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