Cheyenne Autumn
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John Ford's last western film, Cheyenne Autumn was allegedly produced to compensate for the hundreds of Native Americans who had bitten the dust in Ford's earlier films (that was the director's story, anyway). Set in 1887, the film recounts the defiant migration of 300 Cheyennes from their reservation in Oklahoma territory to their original home in Wyoming. They have done this at the behest of chiefs Little Wolf (Ricardo Montalban) and Dull Knife (Gilbert Roland), peaceful souls who have been driven to desperate measures because the US government has ignored their pleas for food… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A sort of frontier Exodus that's filmed with a majestic passion for the wild lands and for its indigenous dwellers."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"Cheyenne Autumn is a strong film, grandly directed and expertly played by a large cast."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"The film is often described as Ford's apology to the Indians for their stereotypical portrayal in previous films, but though they are treated more sympathetically, they still emerge as members (or symbols) of a mass rather than flesh and blood individuals"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Somewhere in the telling, the original premise of the Mari Sandoz novel is lost sight of in a wholesale insertion of extraneous incidents which bear little or no relation to the subject."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Aside from all this nonsense, it never loses its John Ford touch."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A big mess."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Over-long, often clichéd and uneven (there are comic interludes complete with cameo performances), but still imbued with moments of true poetry, thanks largely to William Clothier's magnificent Panavision landscapes."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Flawed on several levels, Ford's perception of a proud people seen through a white man's eyes is ultimately a highly compelling and deeply personal apologia."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ford's compositions (he was 69 at the time) are as noble as ever, but a feeling of fatigue hangs over the whole enterprise."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Cheyenne Autumn on Rotten Tomatoes